Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) (MALAYSIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Page: 3237 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Much has been written about rote learning and its disadvantages as the way of educating students. This paper hopes to re-propose this memorization technique which was much widely praised and practiced in pre-Enlightenment Europe, as well as in Dharmic (or Indian) and Abrahamic religions in the past. The fact that it was so much praised and practiced showed that there were merits in this technique which was also known as “Memory Palace” and “the Method of Loci” in those days. Moreover, this paper hopes to propose that Memory Palace or the Method of Loci be used in tandem with the present dominant educational tool, the Bloom’s Taxonomy. Besides the need for understanding the subject matter, students should also be able to ‘reproduce’ jargons or key phrases in the discipline that they study. This is especially pertinent when these students are learning to be future experts and inheritors or ‘keepers’ of a certain disciplinary (or academic) tradition. In addition, in view of the rapid import and use of computer technology as well as mechanization in Asia, such cultural diffusion from the West had contributed to our young people’s obsession with ‘quick fixes’ and speed. As a result, humanity’s memorization skills and higher brain functions have been and are being eroded due to the lack of use rather than over-use. We have subsumed our human abilities in favor of machines and computers, becoming more and more dependent and hopeless by the day too when they break down. This paper regards memorization techniques as a higher brain function that can help students in Asia and the West become not just better thinkers but also accurate factual experts. Again, memory palace should be used in tandem with understanding (of a particular subject matter) and Bloom’s Taxonomy. This paper is also written to highlight the author’s experience of finding amongst some university students poor memorization techniques. They were unable to provide good facts or key phrases to support their arguments in their exam. Perhaps some of these weak students were lazy, unmotivated while some didn’t know the need for this. It’s also a matter of style when students are able to ‘reproduce’ jargons or key phrases in a subject matter that they had properly understood and of which they can apply, analyze, evaluate, and synthesize. The author will not be using any quantitative or qualitative research methods as it stands but will merely use the standard secondary data research and teaching as well as lecturing experience to argue the case for a re-look at Memory Palace which had been considered as an inferior form of learning in the present time. Finally, the author is quite convinced that it should be used together with Bloom’s Taxonomy and that basic human brain function called ‘understanding’ (of a certain subject matter or discipline). This is to counter the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (A.I.) in our world.
Memory Palace, Bloom’s Taxonomy, understanding, memorization techniques, artificial intelligence.