The Importance Of Memorization In Education Essay Example
For over three centuries, the purpose of the American school curriculum has been to teach students the skills they need to succeed in the world. Although the way things are taught may have changed over time, the curriculum itself largely remains the same. With aspects like technology and new discoveries, the outside world is modernizing quicky. However, schools refuse to modernize their curriculum along with it. While hundreds of years ago the material that was taught may have proved somewhat useful to students as they became adults, that is simply not the case anymore. The American school curriculum is not beneficial to students long-term due to the low retention rate of learned information, the unpreparedness of students for high-level careers and the lack of teaching life skills.
Whether its learning new information, doing homework, or studying for a test, memorization is a key factor to success in the American school system. Although memorization is a useful skill for certain types of information we need to accrue, the overused method of memorization and regurgitation no longer serves our youth. In fact, according to the author of My Tuition, “Students forget 95% of what they learn in high school after three days.” This is because when students are forced to memorize information, they are rarely able to apply it to their lives outside of the classroom. Consequently, the students forget the memorized information in a very short amount of time. Another downside of the memorization technique is that it prevents students from understanding the material. According to Medium.com, “Memorization stops the student from thinking critically about the topic, and that is not actual learning.” Authentic assessments are gaining more traction in our education system; however not enough teachers are assessing this way and rely on outdated measures that do not push the students to master and apply the skills they are being assessed on in a real and valid way. When students memorize things, they are not showing that they understand anything about the topic. All they are showing is that they can write in a certain order or spell it correctly. Critical and analytical thinking are two extremely crucial skills no matter what career path is taken. Students cannot develop these essential skills while schools continue to exhaust the method of memorization. Having to constantly memorize information is not only useless, but also very frustrating for students. Students go to many classes each week and spend countless hours doing homework and studying nightly, and it is easy for students to become extremely stressed in a very short amount of time. On top of this, they are asked to memorize information that is only useful for the hour they are taking the assessment. After they are finished, they forget it. The teachers move on to new topics and there are new things to memorize and learn. However, when the final exam comes around, the forgotten information is likely on it. The information is not applicable to worldly experiences, so the students understandably forget it. They were not able to critically or deeply think about the topic, so it is simply not memorable.
With traditional middle-class jobs becoming more and more obsolete as technological jobs become more common, schools continue to prepare students for careers that they are unlikely to ever pursue. Although it could be argued that there are essential skills needed for whatever career path one may choose to go on, many skills are becoming outdated and need to be modernized. According to NBC news, “The jobs that once kept the city prosperous are being replaced by skilled jobs in service sectors such as health care, finance and information technology — positions that require more education than just a high-school diploma, thus squeezing out many of those blue-collar, traditionally middle-class workers.” The skills that were useful in past careers have become useless with the passage of time, and schools need to transform pedagogical and curricular practices to meet learners modernized needs. American schools primarily attempt to equip their students with knowledge that is becoming impractical with the rise of technology. The world is becoming more technologically advanced every day, yet schools still require their students to complete most work manually and without the use of the internet. This approach is both unproductive and unnecessary. If students are taking an assessment and they are caught searching for the answer on the internet, it is usually an automatic failure. However, in the real world that is simply not the case. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The world has a vast number of resources that can be used to solve problems or answer questions. The internet is one of the best and most efficient resources ever created, schools should encourage students to explore the information it has to offer, not prevent them from using it. As the world changes, the types of career opportunities change as well. According to Selin Schools, “Originally, the U.S. system of education was designed to prepare students for a life of repetitive, industrialized work. Over time, the number of manual and routine jobs has steadily declined within the United States in favor of more complex, non-routine forms of employment, jobs which will require effective social and emotional skills.” The careers the curriculum is designed to prepare students for are either not high-level or they no longer exist. To bring students success, this needs to be changed.
While American schools are adamant about teaching practical skills such as calculus or geometry, they fail to teach students the basic skills, such as taxes or mortgages, that they need to be successful in life. While it could be argued that schools offer classes like home economics or business to teach life skills, these classes are unfortunately not offered at all schools and schools do not make them seem nearly as important as they are. According to a poll taken by The New York Post, “It's clear from the results that a lot of Americans aren’t as confident as they’d like to be when it comes to many day-to-day skills, including how to file their own taxes.” Confidence in certain skill a person may possess can only be gained through one thing, practice. However, schools do not teach these necessary skills. Therefore, not allowing the students to get the practice they need. Student's graduate knowing how to calculate the area of a triangle, but not how to get a credit card. Due to the fact that many people do not know what to do or where to go following their graduation, the current generation in that stage of life is nicknamed the “Boomerang Generation.” They cannot perform the skills they need to live on their own, so right after school they move back in with their parents. However, according to The Dallas Morning News, there is a solution for this issue. “Having more real-life learning in high school may solve the new generations inability to become independent.” Simply teaching the life skills that prevent students from being able to live on their own would prove to be much more useful than the current American school curriculum.
Due to the fact that are not teaching useful skills, they continue to overuse the method of memorization, and they do not prepare their students for successful or modernized careers, the American school curriculum is not beneficial to students. American schools need to take their outdated and useless lessons and transform them into something that will realistically help students after they graduate. If new generations have any chance of being prepared for the hardships of their futures, the American school curriculum unquestionably needs to be reformed.