Stéphanie Tremblay

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Stéphanie Tremblay
Posted about 2 years ago
What if there was a universal method of memorization that could be implemented in primary and secondary education institutions everywhere?
Actually, human brain always relies on memorization to keep going on in daily life. For instance, you go to a café. You do it for the first time by yourself when you're maybe 8 to get your mum's coffee at Tim Hortons. You get used to that routine everytime you go there. You know you just need to go to the counter, say what you want, they give it to you, then you go back to your table with your donut and coffee. One day, you decide to go in a different café and you do the same you always have, that is, to go to the counter to order your food and drink. But OOPS! They serve at tables. Next time you'll come here though, you'll remember and go sit. There is a different procedure that has been integrated in your memory. That's how the brain works everyday. If you do something similar over and over again, your head will rely on previous experiences to help you out and prevent you from thinking. However, when you're exposed to something new that requires thinking and analyzing new information, it takes more energy and more effort from your part to comprehend what's going on; the situation is being integrated in your working memory. This is the immediate space you've got to take pieces of information and work with them at the same time. The good news is we can train students to increase the amount of elements they can store in their working memory. This is a more complex problem that I won't explain here, but we need to remember that memory has to be trained. It that sense, Fritzie is quite RIGHT. Students need to memorize stuff and test their limits if they want to get better at it. That's how our brain works! Trick is, it is up to teachers to create activities and situations where they can use and reuse information in new ways.
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Stéphanie Tremblay
Posted about 2 years ago
Ken Robinson: Changing education paradigms
You answers are all interesting but I'd like to answer that question from a undergrad Education student point of view. I study in Montreal and I have done a couple of internships and what I realize is that our education system really is less and less made for people who can sit tight and listen all day - at least, here in Quebec, that's what the reform in Education has tried to develop in the last decade. There are now plenty of occasions in our curriculum to use team work as a source of assessment in classroom. Our evaluations are now competency-based, which means that we train students to use different procedures. We are now more interested in evaluating the path they took to get to their product than the actual product itself. For example, if we ask students to write an essay, we will assess the whole process of draft, editing, revising, and how student used feedback to change their final text to make it better. We will even encourage them to do it in teams if they want to. It all sounds good in theory, right? Kind of apply to that whole collaboration thing, right? But to be competent, you need to be knowledgeable. If you don't know about the simple concepts of government, parties, debates and law, how the hell are you going to understand a simple article which talks about a decision the State has just made? How can you have a valuable opinion about this decision if you don't understand how it works and how it relates to you? We need to make our students competent by training them to think differently, work in teams and share their ideas instead of shutting them down, that's for sure... but we need to find a balance between competency and declarative knowledge. Cognitivists have said so: competency is useless without knowledge. The more you know, the more you understand what you read and hear.