Memory vs. Experience

Alot of education is based on memory. I’m sure you remember memorizing the planets, the periodic table, math formulas, history dates, on and on it goes… Yet, relying on our memory to store dissasociated facts and retrieve them on demand can be much like looking for a needle in a haystack. Research tells us that the information that we learn through memorization is contained in one small portion of our brain.

However, the information obtained from performing a task is stored in several interconnecting locations. This storage produces something like a 3 dimensional hologram within our minds. The experience or performance memory creates a larger footprint on the brain allowing it to be retrieved easier as well. Remember the chemistry labs… the projects, the field trips…

Although memorizing is important, and does serve us well…augmenting that memory with an experience can make it more vivid. In teacher talk, we call this a concrete experience. Using concrete experiences as your foundation is important, because you can then build on that “vivid 3D hologram” with memorization!

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