Why say NO to rote Learning?

Remember 9 times 8? Chances are memorising the tables in school saved the day for you. But many of us don’t remember what we read in geography in grade 9 unless we loved the subject or we had an amazing teacher. The moment we turned in the answer sheet after our exams, what we had crammed, disappeared from memory. Poof!

When we learn by rote, we don’t attempt to understand the concept. We memorize almost every word we read in the book by repeating it over and over again until we can reproduce it without thinking.

Because we don’t spend any time understanding the subject, it doesn’t stay with us for long.

How rote learning fails us

Rote learning doesn’t help children understand a subject on a deeper level. Neither does it engage the senses, nor is their any discussion among peers.

Memorizing without any understanding hinders the chance to apply any of it. If children don’t understand, they cannot connect the new concept to something around them.

And with rote learning, there is no way of knowing whether children have understood the concept correctly or not! It creates an unhealthy pressure to cram everything.

What children learn in their childhood is a foundation for life. But when they learn by rote, they don’t develop their ability to think, analyze or form their own opinions about what they’ve learnt.

Is there a better way to learn?

There are a multitude of methods that help children learn and apply. Using these methods in class keeps things interesting and there’s no need for children to memorize their lessons. Let’s take you through an example.

Habitats and Adaptation isn't one of the most interesting chapters if you just read the textbook. But what if you could start by designing your own imaginary superhero, and give them a name?

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A student drew this superhero. It's called Phil.

You draw out how the superhero looks, think about what they would eat, what their superpowers are and what’s essential for them to survive.

Now imagine your superhero went to the arctic circle, would the superhero survive? What about the Amazon rainforests or the Thar desert?

The discussions and the back and forth between the teacher and the students, keeps everyone involved. As a result, students learn about adaptation almost effortlessly. The details about why some animals have distinct features depending on where they live can be arrived at almost intuitively. Doesn't that sound like an interesting way to learn about habitat and adaptation?

This is one of the exercises we run at our classes at Openhouse. Learning is fun when you involve DIY experiments, fun assessment games, simulations and more. It doesn’t feel like a class anymore but a unique way of learning without the need to memorise.

We encourage our students to come to conclusions themselves, make connections between what they already know and what they are learning.

Want to test out our fun classes and see if they are right for you? Click here to register.