Monday, February 18, 2008

Memory and Memories

My high school biology class was run by a dynamo of a teacher. One who placed high demands on all of us, and who could smell fear.

One of the biggest problems I had with biology is the rote memorization of it. High school felt like one long list of things to memorize after another: kingdoms, phyla, classes, orders, species...

Not to mention history dates, literary themes, pluperfect forms of French.

At times it seemed more than my brain could hold.

I'm not a natural memorizer. Never was, and it took me a while to realize I never will be. I make connections visually and viscerally. By identifying patterns and interactions and relationships, some connections I just feel in my gut.

It struck me that so much of how my high school classes were taught ran counter to this learning style.

So when I got to college, which of course wasn't free from the need to memorize facts and figures and formulas, it still offered more of a forum for synthesizing the connections between disparate ideas.

Today, I've seen evidence that schools are starting earlier and earlier with the connecting of the dots, where math and science work more closely than before, where projects in social studies have a language arts component that enables the outcome to be richer and less about memorization than about thinking.

And making the connections.

In the process, administrators just may find more kids with different learning styles succeeding more than ever before.


Kitty said...

ugh, that sucks!

Did you get to see the Project Runway reunion episode this week?

Spandrel Studios said...

Yes, the DVR meltdown was extremely annoying. Thankfully, I was able to exchange the box before the Project Runway reunion show. Recap to come today...