Making Minds Matter

 

Students need to learn how to think, not how to remember.  As Albert Einstein stated, “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.”

For generations, students were provided a script to success, and successful students learned to memorize their part.  Any students’ suggestions about deviating from this teacher imposed script were seldom encouraged, appreciated and/or accepted.  The pathway to academic success was clearly understood by all:  be able to quickly and accurately retrieve the required information from short-term memory while under the duress of formal testing situations.

The value of students following this script for generations can be rightly debated, but one thing is now very clear – students of today need to forget about relying so much on their memory!  After all, modern technology allows instant access to information, so why should students spend hours memorizing facts and figures that they can find in seconds and that they’ll begin to forget minutes after the conclusion of the assessment?  Not only is information instantly accessible, much of it is almost instantly obsolete!

The goal of education must always be to fulfill students’ minds, rather than to simply fill their memories.

 

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