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Learning: the virtues of “by heart”

2022-06-23T11:18:39.979Z

Testing your memory makes it stronger, says neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene. The "by heart"? It's the science of donkeys… And a well-made head is better than a very full one… There is no shortage of unqualified convictions in matters of education and learning. In France, intelligence and the ability to understand have long been opposed to rehashing and memorization. A mistake that neuroscience and deeper study of the brain have shattered. ” READ ALSO – Why rote learning i



The "by heart"?

It's the science of donkeys… And a well-made head is better than a very full one… There is no shortage of unqualified convictions in matters of education and learning.

In France, intelligence and the ability to understand have long been opposed to rehashing and memorization.

A mistake that neuroscience and deeper study of the brain have shattered.

” READ ALSO –

Why rote learning is (ultimately) effective

Holder of the chair of experimental cognitive psychology at the Collège de France and now president of the scientific council of National Education, Stanislas Dehaene has devoted part of his teaching to trying to push back received ideas that have blocked the quality of transmission of knowledge.

“Teachers and students are sometimes radically mistaken about the conditions that optimize memory,”

he asserts*.

Learning should be effortless?

Neuroscience proves otherwise.

Besides the attention needed during learning,

"the same words will be better remembered if they have undergone deep semantic processing rather than superficial judgment",

explains the researcher.

Making the effort to understand a word or phrase makes it easier to remember.

In fact, memory is essential to the ability to understand.

Testing your memory makes it stronger

Regularly testing your knowledge is also essential.

As early as 1890, the American psychologist and philosopher William James had sensed this, recounts Stanislas Dehaene, quoting him:

“A strange particularity of our memory is that the facts are imprinted on it better by active than passive repetition… During learning (for heart, for example), when we can almost remember something, it is better to wait and make the effort to try to remember, rather than rushing to a book.

If we practice retrieving words this way, we'll probably know them next time;

otherwise, we will most likely need to go look in a book again.”

Testing her memory will make her stronger.

In terms of learning, a simple reading may only imprint the working memory (short term), while the repetition following an interactive mode (question-answer, like double-sided revision cards) will activate curiosity and dig a deeper furrow in the memory.

In the school field, where the aim is long-term memorization, it is necessary to revise after an interval of a few months at least.

Stanislas Dehaene, President of the National Education Scientific Council

Time is also part of the game. Studies have shown that spacing out the learning times of a subject will encourage the memory to take it seriously and not leave it in working memory, which will quickly erase it.

Sleep, which consolidates knowledge, also seems to play a role in this area.

“If you want the knowledge to be preserved for several months or several years, you have to lengthen the repetition interval in proportion.

Thus learning always benefits from being divided into several stages and in the school field, where the aim is long-term memorization, it is necessary to revise after an interval of a few months at least”,

affirms Stanislas Dehaene.

“More generally, school learning benefits from taking advantage of the three factors that maximize memory: depth of encoding (having students actively work on the meaning of what they are learning), alternating periods of learning and testing (avoid exposing students to a lecture, but put them to the test regularly) and repetition at spaced intervals”,

explains Stanislas Dehaene who adds:

“These phenomena are universal.

The widespread idea that everyone has their own learning style is to be relegated to the rank of “neuromyths”.

* Course on memory and its optimization, at the Collège de France.

Source: lefigaro

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