Why don’t students remember what they’ve learned?

Pragmatic Education

Curricula and assessment aren’t designed with memory in mind

 

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We’ve all had the experience of cramming for an exam and forgetting most of what we learned within a few weeks or days. In the immediate term, this is actually quite useful, because national exams are often bunched together, sometimes several in the same day. But in the long-run it’s unhelpful: if you asked me to take a GCSE physics exam today, I don’t expect I’d do very well: I’ve forgotten almost all of what I learned. Given the time invested, it seems a waste.

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‘In one ear, out the other’

If you’re in teaching, you’ll have had the frustrating experience of seeing a class grasp and understand a concept perfectly in lessons, only to have completely and utterly forgotten it when you mention it later on in the year: they assure you they’ve never heard of it before in…

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