Tip number one is don't get lost in the dreaded Revolutionary War fact bubble, which I have to say it makes me think of the first time that I taught this course. I was actually a brand new professor and I had just come to Yale and it was my first course and it was my first lecture in my first course and I'm [sound cuts out] It actually was in Connecticut Hall, which, for those of you who don't know, dates back to the period when this course is talking about and was Nathan Hale's -- essentially his dorm. So there I am. I'm a brand new professor to Yale and I'm teaching a course about the Revolution and it's in a building that dates to the Revolution, so I'm having sort of a "wow" Yale moment as it is, and I'm off, I'm giving my lectures, and I'm really excited. I give about three of them and someone raises their hand after about three lectures and they have a kind of a puzzled expression on their face. I said, "Yes?" And he says, "Excuse me, Professor Freeman. What are we supposed to be memorizing? Where are the facts and dates?" [laughs] So as a new professor my first impulse was: Darn! I forgot the facts and dates. [laughter] I got it wrong. [laughs] But actually, the fact of the matter is, they're not the star of the show. Certainly, dates are not the star of the show. There are dates you're going to have to remember so don't think Easy Street; there's not a date I have to know. There will be some dates, but this isn't a story about dates. It's obviously something a lot more interesting and a lot broader than that. Okay. Avoid fact bubble.Obviously, excessive memorization didn't keep these students out of Yale.
Joanne Freeman "American Revolution" | Lecture 1 Introduction: Freeman's Top Five Tips for Studying the Revolution
I'm sure there's a reason for that, the reason being that excessive memorization actually helped.
And here is Daniel Willingham: prior knowledge & working memory in 1 paragraph