Rote learning – is it really that bad?

Ah, two very interesting pieces that discuss the impact of ‘rote learning’ in the overall learning and growth process.  First, HechingerEd’s piece discusses the value of rote memorization, referring to it as ‘learning by heart’ (less negative connotations).  Then, Curriculum Matters’ post that argues there is indeed a difference between ‘rote memorization’ and ‘learning by heart’. 

HechingerEd’s post argues that there is value in rote memorization in that it is a challenge (and one that can be accomplished with pride), it is good exercise for the brain, and finally, that through the process of memorization new insights are revealed such as play on words, analogies, etc.  In essence, staying true to the rhythm and pattern helps to uncover language delights.  I thought it was interesting (and logical) how memory was attached to engagement.  Daniel Willingham, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, states, “If you’re really engaged, memory comes pretty automatically.”