Sunday, February 21, 2010

Brain-Based Learning: Core Principle 9

I will admit that I am eager for brain based learning to get over. While it is terribly interesting, it is hard.  Maybe I should have done this a bit down the road. I do hope that everyone has learned something, because it is fun to look at how your kids learn in a different way. That is my goal--to take all these thoughts I have from my old job and transfer them to my new job. 

The ninth core principal of brain-based learning

We have two types of memory: spatial and rote.

After my introduction, I hope to keep this peppy. Let's define the two:

Spatial memory is the part of the memory that is responsible for recording information about one's environment and its spatial orientation. 

Rote memory is the avoidance of learning but focuses on memorization. When you memorize something with no meaning and it does not stay with you, this is your rote memory.

When I was a freshman in college, I took a theater class. The professor said that she was going to "give everyone the acting bug." She of course, did not make me ill with such a bug, but did grate my nerves. I did not make many connections in my brain with the material. The night before the final, I wrote out the answer to the long essay question, as the teacher had previously given us the questions. It was about a two page answer. I memorized it by rewriting it over and over, using my rote memory. I walked into class the next day, slapped it down on a piece of paper, got an "A" and took very little away from the test or class. 

Spatial memory is not the opposite of rote memory. Spatial deals with remembering the geographical layout of something. For instance, in remembering that theater class, I could recall parking my car in the lot next to my college's communication building, walking across the street and into the classroom. I can even picture the three levels of that large classroom that housed most introductory classes. 

Of course, the problem is with rote memory--that people don't learn material, they just memorize it for a test. Have you ever done such a thing--memorized and forgotten?