In this article, I would like to share my thoughts about rote learning. How rote learning can impact the education and development of a country?
I would also share a few ways to eliminate or minimize rote learning in education.
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“Education is like a river of gems that keeps on flowing, every time you dive into it, you discover precious gems that improve your mind and life.” Click To Tweet
There is no denying the importance of education; it helps cultivate a society that understands the difference between right and wrong, who knows and considers the impact of all their steps, and a community that lives to improve people’s condition.
However, if there are massive benefits of attaining education, why do students feel better off without schools, happier without exams, excited for every new holiday announced?
Mental Pressure to Be the Best!
One of the primary reasons is the constant pressure from surroundings to consistently achieve good grades, be amongst the top ranks in class, and get 90%+ regardless of their understanding of the subject.
It puts learners into mental strains, which hinders their mental growth and results in distancing from education.
The only way out students find is to rote learn subjects that they don’t like or understand.
Before we go further, let’s know what rote learning is; it refers to memorizing the contents of a subject by repeating them constantly.
It easies the memorization process because increased repetitions lead to easier remembering of the content for learners.
As students can remember better details about the content due to rote learning, they can write a descriptive answer on the exam paper, which results in better marks and fulfillment of their social goals, but do these marks matter?
Video credit- BuzzFeed India
Why Rote Learn?
The biggest constraint of rote learning is the inability to retain the information gathered during the process.
Rote learning doesn’t involve conceptual studies, which means that students don’t have the most substantial grip on subjects that they are learning about. When this happens, you can understand that the information would probably last for some days or weeks but would never be applicable once they switch to their professional lives.
Do you think students find it easier to rote learn?
According to a survey, more than 75% of students prefer conceptual or active learning instead of memorizing details without understanding.
Rote learning is never easy on students’ minds; it requires more effort to remember the details and more time to ensure that the details last till paper.
However, a fair share of students still has to stoop to rote learning to save their grades.
Why are grades so important?
Why do we fear failure more than we love success?
Why is it preferable for students to lose in the long run for a short-lived victory?
Never Fear Failure
Failure isn’t the opposite of success; it is a step towards success. You can’t win a battle ultimately if you fear losing against a tough competitor.
Jk Rowling’s harry potter was rejected by 12 publishers before being accepted; she was broke at the age of 40, but her efforts to keep trying resulted in success.
She made her first billion by the age of 51 and was the first-ever writer to do so.
It isn’t just one story; everyone has their struggles; everyone fails to improve their future.
We have talked a lot about Elon Musk’s failures. We have generally found them less motivating because people believe that he started very early, had an unappalled mind, was too good to be generalized for everyone.
However, you must understand that one on the peak of Everest started from the base camp too; they didn’t look for shortcuts, kept their hope alive, and made history.
Video credit- TEDx Talks
Once you give upon conceptual learning for rote learning, you are trading a tea at the basecamp for an actual opportunity to surge Everest.
Jeff Bezos’s Five Failures
I have heard a lot about the failures of famous people but never came across details about Jeff Bezos’s failures, so I thought, how come he didn’t face any loss yet moved past everyone in terms of wealth.
So, I started reading his biography and discovered some important facts. Indeed, Bezos didn’t have early struggles when he started Amazon; the sales for the first week accounted for $20000, which were way more than the team’s expectations.
Still, it doesn’t mean that he had an easy route to the 200 billion mark.
It was an 80 million investment by Amazon, the first AAA game launched by the company in May 2020, but the game didn’t work out and was shut down in November of the same year.
The game barely made any money in return, and as per reports, a significant share of revenue was charged back by customers.
What do you think would happen when Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, and JP Morgan-three well-established billionaires, combine to form a Medicare hospital?
It would end in a massive failure and be closed down within two years of operations, or at least that’s what Haven’s experience says.
The medicare hospital had a novel aim yet failed to achieve its objectives and was forced to close by January 2021.
In December 2010, Amazon acquired their Groupon rival, living social, for a whopping amount of 175$ million.
The company saw rapid growth but was soon halted, and all introduced deals backfired, resulting in massive expenses and low returns.
In 2016, the company was absorbed by Groupon for $0.
Jeff Bezos invested 50$ million in pets.com in 1999; the company showed no further prospects and was closed by the end of 2002.
Similarly, Kozmo.com was another massive investment working on the one-hour delivery model- that didn’t work out and closed operations within a few years.
Amazon Fire Phone-
Upon the inauguration of the kindle tablet, Jeff Bezos regarded the tablet not just to be the best in the particular price range but the best across all prices.
Although that was quite confident from Jeff Bezos considering its competitors and their growth, he can’t say the same about the Fire Phone’s launched for 199$.
It was a $170 million investment with probably the worst returns one could expect. The phone, within a few months, dropped to 99 cents.
These five failures aren’t the only ones he has faced, there are many more, but did they stop him from becoming the richest?
They can’t. I believe that his success is a result of his sheer confidence and dedication to keep on trying.
His response to Fire Phone’s failure was:
“If you think it was a failure, we’re working on much bigger failures right now- and I am not kidding.” Click To Tweet
If you think rote learning is a way to achieve better grades and succeed in life, you are wrong, the former might work, but the latter is far from reality.
You need to keep yourself motivated to learn everything conceptually to ensure that you retain the knowledge.
In this blog, I will cover several other aspects regarding rote learning, so stay tuned!
The Impacts of Rote Learning
“Rote learning is killer for most of us, and for some people it excludes them” - Nicholas Negroponte. Click To Tweet
The above-quoted statement clearly defines the impact of memorizing information or concepts by repeatedly reading it.
The majority of the students find it considerably easy to learn information by repeatedly reading it rather than understanding the concepts.
It is just because memorizing information or concepts doesn’t require much effort. However, Conceptual-based Learning requires deep study of the subject/topic.
Although the technique (Rote Learning) rescues students’ time as they don’t need to study deeply, unfortunately, students don’t understand what they have learned.
Thus, they experience difficulty in the implementation of that concept when they face real-world problems or challenges.
Along with it, there are several other flaws associated with this technique.
Below are some of the common reasons Rote Learning isn’t an effective technique and why it must be discouraged among students.
Promotes Convergent Thinking:
The most significant drawback of rote learning is that it restricts the students from thinking about different solutions.
However, it’s necessary to explore different ways and techniques to solve and deal with problems or challenges, especially for young students.
Makes People Passive Learner:
If the students would only focus on memorizing information, they would never have questions and wouldn’t be able to think beyond the four walls of the classroom.
One of the most significant drawbacks of rote learning is that craving books are hard to retain.
Apart from some other things such as periodic tables, or multiplication tables, the students wouldn’t hold information for the long-term.
Primary Goal is Scoring/Marks:
The primary purpose of learning is to acquire knowledge and develop concepts.
However, when it comes to rote learning, the student’s primary focus is to score the highest marks.
Lack Of Skills:
Lastly, when students only focus on acquiring marks despite learning and understanding the concepts, they wouldn’t develop skills that would help them critically think about various solutions or secure high-paying jobs, etc.
Let me share the solution to the problem, and it makes sense:
The Solution (Concept-Based Learning)-
It may not be possible to eliminate such learning practices from students.
However, it can be minimized to a greater extent by implementing Concept-based Learning.
Below are the two ways to promote Concept-based Learning among students.
Building Skill Development Institutes-
Schools wouldn’t be sufficient in promoting concept-based education among students.
There must be institutions where students can practice what they have learned in the classroom.
The more the students move towards practical learning, the more they will be interested in studies.
Furthermore, the institutions should ensure that the Laboratories are equipped with the latest technology.
The educational institutions should focus on conceptual exams rather than following traditional patterns of the exam.
Initially, it would be difficult for students to shift from conventional ways to the new approach. But, proper planning would bring excellent results.
It is the time when we have education on fingertips. It would be great if we focus on concept-based learning and develop one skill.
Here comes the end of the blog.
The blog covered in detail rote learning, the impacts of rote learning, why it should be avoided, and how to eliminate rote learning culture.
I hope you enjoyed reading the blog.
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I am Raj, Founder of rajtheblogger.com. I would like to share my thoughts and life experiences with the readers on this website.