More than just grades: Rote learning and life lessons

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn” – Benjamin Franklin

How often have you seen a student scoring A grades in a subject and remembering what the entire concept of the subject or topic or lesson was, after few months when asked about it? The answer to this question is as obvious as it seems. The technique of rote learning is majorly used in schools for the subjects mathematics and science where students are asked to memorize multiplication tables and formulas through repetition.
Memorizing can be effective in terms of learning to a certain extent, after which application based on situations should be brought into the picture. The focus on memorization techniques which are fueled by standardized testing has led to an obstruction in learning.
When a student learns through the situational application of the lessons they are asked to memorize, it makes it easier for them to remember it since they can apply these formulas and numbers on themselves and feel they are a part of it. Students don’t forget the concept of the lessons taught to them based on simple and practical application.
Schools tend to divert their focus more towards the grades a student gets instead of focusing on the learning of the child. Deeper and richer learning. Teachers and parents raise their expectations for grades in students which takes the child on the path of memorizing the topics for the exams instead of understanding it thoroughly.
Rote learning has its advantages when one has to remember a topic quickly, however, the use of rote learning in subjects like mathematics and science can be of use if also practiced under different applications.
Memorization can prove to be the right choice but if the student is not involved in the lesson, it can get boring and dull. Involvement in a lesson being taught is an important aspect of teaching, it makes the student understand, analyze, evaluate and apply in a much better and easier manner. Once a child is involved in the lessons, he no longer needs to memorize.
Lessons taught with the right balance of memorization and involvement can help in the growth of the student, growth which would help them beyond scoring good grades and becoming a topper. So let’s promote learning over marks and involvement over memorization to get richer learning over just good grades.

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