In this post, I will be discussing how Pat Hensley’s blog titled “Is Memorization Important?” (http://successfulteaching.blogspot.com/2010/07/is-memorization-important.html) has inspired me to change my behavior in the future for a university assignment. I am in no way affiliated with him or his blog, and do not in any way claim any of his work.
I really enjoyed reading this blog post. I felt that the writer made an excellent point about selectively memorizing information. I realize after reading this that I want to avoid only focusing on memorization in my class as much as possible. I want to give students explanations for why things happened and how they happened in history. I feel that as a history teacher, if I place to much importance on simply remembering dates, it will cause students to be more stressed out and less likely to retain other information. Not to say that the dates aren’t important. They are very important and vital to creating a timeline in your head, as the author briefly touched on. However, I feel that if more in depth explanations of events are given, it will be easier to add the dates in later. For myself, specific dates are often times one of the hardest things to remember flawlessly. I am not good with numbers. However, I do notice that the more I read historical accounts or texts, the more I start to remember specific years automatically without struggling to recall them. Practice and application, in my opinion, are some extremely beneficial ways to combat the difficulties of retaining these types of things. If I combine both practice and application with memorization, I believe I could get much farther with my students, then simply having them stare blankly at a piece of paper and struggle to store the information into their brains. There is a possibility that I could try to combine historical dates with Project Based Learning. I am sure that after some brainstorming, I could come up with some projects that would work with dates of historical importance. I think I would also like to put some sort of display on the wall of my classroom that divides up and describes the eras. There is a chance that if the students were seeing this on a day to day basis, some of that information might stick!