Nicholas Lukowiak


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Why memorize?

This question was not well thought out, and I apologize, it will be removed after the replies have taken place.

Memorizing is inedible when involving intelligence.

  • Apr 17 2011: Here are a few thoughts. First lets make a difference between the process of memorization and the information that is memorized. I always forget where I park my car, but it sure would save time if I remembered the parking spot. So there is value in memorizing things like the names of your family, date of your birthday, etc.., All information you could find on documents but not practical to look up every time you complete a form.
    So now how do you decide what data to remember and what not. Really I don't think you physically can. Every thing you are exposed to is in your memory on some level. It might not be easily recallable, but the human brain has a huge ability to remember. I don't know if people have really found the extent of the ability of human memory.
    From your point of view I can tell you that I find a definite advantage of people in industry that have a good memory. When projects are being discussed, it is of a huge value for people to have corporate memory of past problems to avoid, history, and where and what needs to be done. When a project is on a time schedule, you don't want to reinvent the wheel or read on the internet how to do simple math since that wasn't memorized. Kind of the point of going to school is that you don't spend time learning again.
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    Apr 17 2011: Nicholas, also being a student, I understand when you talk about meaningless information to be memorized is the core content of the systems of education around the world. I agree up to some point, since I'm also a militant of critical thought as the main capacity to be developed by schools.

    However, we can't be only google people. The acess to information might be esay, but you can't know or learn about everything at the same speed as you search for someone's birth date on Wikipedia. We need to have in our minds concepts, analysis and some type of knowledge. But "having in our minds" does not imply memorization. We need the information, we just have to change the way we accquire it.

    I suggest you take a look on Wikipedia's article on Democratic Education ( and Construtivism ( I think you might be somewhat interested.
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      Apr 17 2011: You are thinking correctly, however I am surprised no one has thought so just say "memorizing is inedible" ... truly now i can say I did not completely think out my question.

      Even with such processes as "critical thought" as you are circling around there is going to be a need to remember the process in which to organize thoughts effectively, and I tried supplementing this memorizing with understanding. However they are really just one in another concepts ultimately because understanding is memorizing and beyond.

      Not only do I agree with democratic education I have came to understand the flaw in that education also. Not having grounds to understand what a student likes, dislikes, and is talented in puts students choices at a handicap. As democratic education goes the education is negotiable with respects to the students and teacher(s). Again, how do students really know what they can do and not do?

      Is where I posted a curriculum ideal I created with a mixture of education ideals. Tell me what you think.
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        Apr 23 2011: Great idea for the curriculum, Nicholas. I really liked it. I'd make just one change though: from 12 to 14, the change of fixed curriculum to democratic curriculum could be gradual, so the kids would get used to it and made better choices. If it is immediate, it can be kind of abrupt for a 12-year-old. Maybe we could soften this process up a bit.
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    Apr 16 2011: Sometimes, when working on a problem, you won't know which specific solution you need. Now if you've memorised a good amount of concepts, it might be that you're able to make the logical connection between your problem and a concept that leads to an unexpected solution. The connection isn't necessarily something you'll be able to predict which is why being able to recall a lot from memory is better.
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    Apr 16 2011: the experience we experienced and the memory we hold distinguish ourselves from others
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    Apr 15 2011: Going back to my school days, I can remember tons of things that we were taught, but I do not use daily, nor weekly, nor monthly, nor annually - some of them I've never used them again since that day.

    Indeed, there is no need to memorize every single thing you/we are taught.
    The bad thing is that you cannot know ahead which things you need to remember, based on your job, your interests etc.
    Thus, you are not able to pre-determine which information is useful or not in the long run.

    In general, memorization saves you time (not only in the sense of time=money) and makes you more efficient in lots of daily things.
    For the rest of the time, you need to be able to locate the information you are looking for quickly and correctly. This, I believe, is the purpose of memorization for not-daily issues.

    As for the real purpose of education is (or at least should be, according to my understanding) to provide you with the information (= knowledge) and to improve your critical thinking.
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      Apr 15 2011: Yes memorizing does save time, but like I said anything worth memorizing must be important or of value to the individual and becomes more of an understanding and not just a memory.

      Remembering where to find the information is much more important than remembering the information itself, do you agree?

      I agree that true education should be revolved around critical thought. Preaching the choir here.