Retrieval Practice

Posted on October 8, 2017


Hmmm…. I remember the interview this article talks about (I’m sure I blogged about it).

Essentially — retrieval practice really is good for learning, no REALLY.

Here’s what this means for teachers: When we teach something once, then want to do something else to help students learn it better, instead of just reviewing the content, we’re much better off giving something like a quiz instead. In other words, if we do more asking students to pull concepts out of their brains, rather than continually trying to put concepts in, students will actually learn those concepts better.

The post goes on to list lots of ways we can do this.

It makes me ponder whether lots of stuff that is working well for math to make it “less memorizing”   is working better because so much of the “memorizing” is taught with practice that isn’t retrieval practice.   It’s practice mimicking a procedure and students memorize retrieving *that.*   It could be (and folks, I’m not proclaiming, just … it’s occurring to me…) that it’s still a memory thing — but a better, less “rote” memory.

Another part of the article talked about using flashcards well… which… well, this is how I was taught to use them — which is, to *automaticity,* not ’til you got it right a time or two.


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