Today's public educators
look down on rote learning and consider it akin to a form of child abuse. Today, this form of learning is considered to be
out of style, boring and even mindless. They say that to spend long periods of time on repetitive tasks is
a sign that learning is not taking place — that this is not a productive learning situation.
What these educators totally
ignore is the fact that rote memorization is not only the easiest way to learn something; it often is the ONLY way to learn
something. Its purpose is to create automatic reflexes, so that the child can then move on to further learning without impediment.
Those with dyscalculia and dyslexia are being let down by a system which pays out for teams of teaching assistants that watch
as the kids colour in pictures. Don’t believe it? It is going on every day!
In some other countries,
they have a high respect for the teacher - something that is totally missing from the UK. Repetitive methods of study are widely practiced in
schools across Japan, China
and other Asian nations. We need to learn from them because they have the highest academic levels in the world. Not surprisingly,
the Asian nations are also beatings us hands down with their innovation and strong economy.
Essential knowledge such
as times tables, formulae, scientific facts, vocabulary, grammar rules etc… should be learned by heart. In the 1950s and ‘60s in the UK, the importance of learning by rote was understood and it was Britain
that was leading the world in education. What has happened?
Children and teenagers who
learn by rote are able to advance at an increased rate. With the basic skills out of the way, we can move on to more interesting
things. Young people should be developing a deeper understanding of
new concepts, but instead most of them are still struggling with the basic skills! What on earth is happening? Employers and Universities are finding that young people
with GCSEs and A levels can’t form a proper sentence.
Many of our school leavers
are sadly lacking in basic numeracy, vocabulary and grammar skills. These used to be learned in weekly memory tests, not just
at primary but at secondary level too.
We believe the trend for
trying to make classes entertaining is a mistake. Teachers are afraid to give boring repetitive lessons because of the behaviour
that would result. Unfortunately, what this leads to is a generation of school children who can't concentrate on something
unless it is presented like a TV program. That is not the way forward!
The problem today is that
young people expect to be entertained. However, the fact is that most jobs are quite repetitive. It is well known that high
performers in the workplace and in innovation have high levels
of concentration for long
periods of time. Such skills need to be cultivated.
The future of this country
is dependant on our academics, and we won’t inspire a love of science, higher maths or literature by showing our school
children videos. The brain needs to be exercised and stretched.
In time, many children find
that it isn’t painful or boring any longer. Many Private schools still use traditional methods. The state sector should
take advice from those with a system that works.