kitchen table math, the sequel: the Jesuit teachers

Sunday, March 29, 2009

the Jesuit teachers

The Jesuit teachers also knew that fixing the impression was extremely important. This fits in with their stress on memory-work—and it was not automatic memorizing, it had to be thorough understanding. Their manuals of teaching never tire of saying: Repeat, repeat and repeat. They nearly always add that the master must watch carefully and vary his questions to ensure that there is nothing mechanical about this repetition, but then they urge once more Repeat and once more Repeat.

The Art of Teaching by Gilbert Highet
p. 147-148


Amy P said...

In Russian there's a rhyming proverb--povtorenie, mat' ucheniia. That means, "Repetition is the mother of learning."

Anonymous said...

Thats what I tell my students all the time, Amy. My teachers (in soviet school) were never tired to repeat it.


Catherine Johnson said...

Hi Exo!!!

This is one of the most critical issues in U.S. schools: the contempt for memory.

If you're against "memorization" and you reject "drill and kill" and you believe that "critical thinking" is about understanding, not remembering....the only students who are remotely going to gain an education are those with extremely quick memories who require far fewer repetitions in order to store new material.

This is a major source of inequity.


Anonymous said...

I agree. Memorization is SO downplayed that it's scary.