2.8.04

First grammar, then memorization. What next?

In Defense of Memorization: If there’s one thing progressive educators don’t like it’s rote learning. As a result, we now have several generations of Americans who’ve never memorized much of anything. Even highly educated people in their thirties and forties are often unable to recite half a dozen lines of classic poetry or prose.
There are few things that I agree with in terms of constructavist learning. Alan November and the Sudbury Valley model may work well once students have a good grounding in the basics. But not before.

The goal of education shouldn't be to cram young minds full of useless stuff. Nor should it be to let students follow their bliss in learning. A balance needs to be found, where students are excited by learning but they also manage to learn fundamental skills. Rote memorization may be passe, but it certainly aids the ability to remember and recall, a skill everyone should master.

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