TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Do schools just test your memory?

As a middle school student I have rather unsatisfactory grades but the way I see it, I just have a bad memory.

Think about it, don't tests technically just assess what you remember and not what you actually know? I could remember that 2 + 2 = 4 but that doesn't mean I know why. I guess this doesn't count for those who actually understand the process.

Please share your opinions with me, I am here to learn.

Topics: education
0
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Nov 13 2012: Hi Ali,

    What we "know" is no more than the collection of spacial and causal maps retained in our brains.
    These are a kind of memory.
    These maps define the basis of perception - which has another word: "belief".
    we, as humans, have the capacity to share our perceptions with each other.
    There are 2 types of perceptional constructs:
    1. Intrinsic.
    2. Extrinsic.
    Intrinsic perception is based on direct obervation of our internal states and external objects/events.
    Intrinsic perceptions always remain conditional on continuous observation - they can change and are adaptive.
    Extrinsic perceptions are based on artificial association. They are formed as a consenses to accept the association. For instance, I can propose that a pebble associates to a sheep in my flock. The pebble is not the sheep, but if a new lamb is born, I can add a pebble to my collection, if one dies or is eaten, I can remove one. If someone asks me how many sheep are in my flock, instead of going out to count them every time I'm asked, I can simply count the pebbles in my pocket. If the person who asked also accepts my pebble/sheep association, then it has mutual communicative value.
    In this example, the extrinsic association of "pebble=sheep" relies on nothing more than the association. It is rendered static - i.e. it cannot ever change without losing its communication value.

    Modern schools tend to rely exclusively on static extrinsic perceptions. They rarely admit to the underlying falicy - a pebble is not a sheep.

    So when you say 2 + 2 = 4, you are training the extrinsic that 2 represents one thing in the company of another same-thing (2). If the expression (2+2=4) is taught in the absensce of the intrinsic perception, it collapses into a meaningless artifact that is useful only if you are a calculator .. and not even insects would let themselves be reduced to that.
    However, the enlighened teacher might explode the extrinsic perceptions into intrinsic framework. E.g. counting pebbles.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.