kitchen table math, the sequel: brain memory is different

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

brain memory is different

Larry Summers, economist:
Suppose the educational system is drastically altered to reflect the structure of society and what we now understand about how people learn.
Richard Clark, Paul Kirschner, & John Swellers, psychologists and education researchers:
Our understanding of the role of long-term memory in human cognition cognition has altered dramatically over the last few decades. It is no longer seen as a passive repository of discrete, isolated fragments of information that permit us to repeat what we have learned. Nor is it seen as having only peripheral influence on complex cognitive processes such as critical thinking and problem solving. Rather, long-term memory is now viewed as the central, dominant structure of human cognition. Everything we see, hear, and think about is dependent on and influenced by our long-termmemory.
Putting Students on the Path to Learning
Richard E. Clark, Paul A. Kirschner, and John Sweller
American Educator | Spring 2012
Here's a thought.

Before Larry Summers writes a NY Times op ed invoking "what we now understand about how people learn," he should do a little nosing around and find out what we now understand about how people learn.

Hint: what we now understand about how people learn turns out NOT to be that in a world where the entire Library of Congress will soon be accessible on a mobile device with search procedures that are vastly better than any card catalog, factual mastery will become less and less important.

Long-term memory is a biological entity with cognitive functions.

Internet archives are storage facilities.

Those two things are not the same.

P.S.: A Commenter reminded me of the Clark/Kirschner/Sweller article the other day, when I was trying to recall where I'd read the passage about long-term memory having a cognitive and biological function that Google does not. Unfortunately, I can't remember who it was, but thank you!

Larry Summers has a really bad idea
Look it up


Jen said...

Daniel Ethier said...

Catherine, you are probably remembering one of the following articles:

The first one is a great overall summary.

It was a lot further back than I thought!

Catherine Johnson said...

Jen - right!


And thanks, Daniel!

SteveH said...

What's 6*7?