When we were kids, there was this annoying game called Chinese Whispers. I used to be terrible at this game, as I couldn’t get past the idea of having someone I remotely know to breathe down my neck. I was so uncomfortable that I never really bothered about the sentences and always lost, quite miserably at that. However, at a later stage I realized the aesthetic essence of a game I used to detest. It was always testing my memory, my ability to retain a sentence that never made much sense to me, and I never knew the game was preparing me for life, and I refuted such a blessing in disguise.
I have struggled with the idea of rote learning in school, as I never could just remember things without knowing their true meaning. But, along the passage of learning, we are supposed to rote learn, and that’s how Chinese whispers saved some, while failed many like me.
I have a younger sister, and her mantra for scoring great in social sciences, is to learn and retain everything important from the chapter. I would ask her if she needs help, but she is way ahead of me, like a parrot she has learned everything crucial, and I am baffled. Then, I asked her about her style of studying, and she quite proudly shared the wisdom which is followed by many of her age- ratta, or rote-learning. Kids, in general nowadays, just gulp down the words and vomit them on their exam sheet.
In a bid for marks, a lesson remains forgotten, and no one bats and eyelid.
What is the right to approach to education? It’s imperative that teachers make an effort to make their students understand the intricacies, instead of expecting them to just learn their way through school.
Rote-learning can be beneficial for some, while a disaster for others. Expecting every student to learn 500 words is wring, as every student is different and so is every mind. Sadly enough, our education system doesn’t make this bifurcation, and many suffer at the hands of such teachers who pride themselves with the idea of rote-learning. Overreliance on memorization is like most problems in education: systemic. One teacher can’t topple the tyrant’s statue alone, but she can begin to chip away at the base, or at least shy away from conforming to such means. Because retaining knowledge isn’t the deal, attaining it is.
Are we supposed to memorize our education, or actually learn it? Furthermore, is it important to be intelligent or wise? Is this how we prepare our kids to brace the world?
For all my college experiences, the hustle and the brainstorming behind the working of assignments, I can say for sure that rote-learning is never the answer to success, or to attain knowledge. Rote-learning is the shortcut to success, and in life one can never rely upon the power of a shortcut, essentially, shortcut to be smart.
Memorizing doesn’t make one better at learning, it’s nothing but a quick-fix solution to it.
Thus, I came to the conclusion, our school never tests our knowledge; it always tests how much we can retain for the time, and just blurt it out in exam. The lesson remain forgotten, but the marks are never. After all, one doesn’t care about how knowledgeable the kids are getting till the point they score straights A’s.