Many grandparents can relate to what it means to have learnt by rote.
It was the main way many of us were taught in the sixties and seventies, and even before. However, with a revolution in pedagogy practises rote learning has fallen out of favour. Teachers use a wide variety of teaching practises that appeal to the varied way children learn.
Having said that I believe rote learning has its place in our modern education system. To learn something by rote is to repeat it so often your remember it. If this repetition is done in conjunction with a song, it works even better.
Some of the best examples are the way we learned the alphabet and our times tables.
What are the disadvantages of rote learning?
Critics tell us that rote learning doesn’t encourage interaction or social skills in the classroom. It is something a student does on their own. Another issue is that it’s boring and students may lose focus easily on what they are doing after a time.
Rote learning doesn’t allow students to develop a deeper understanding of the subject or extend their understanding by putting the information into practise.
Learning the Alphabet and counting are examples of how powerful learning by rote can be. Have you ever had to work out what letter comes before R in the alphabet? Your first response was more than likely to begin to recite the alphabet.
Many people often find themselves going back to these techniques, and regardless of how old they are they don’t seem to forget them.
What are the advantages of rote learning?
Rote learning certainly has its place in our grandchildren’s classroom.
It is useful when a student needs to learn the facts and the order of those facts. If consolidated over the years, like us, they will never forget their times tables, the order of the planets from the sun, and other interesting information.
Encourage your grandchildren to learn by rote. Sing and clap, and make a fun game out of it. You’ll be helping them to consolidate what they are learning in school, and helping make them a little bit smarter.
A video to share –