Thursday, June 14, 2007
Why not math?
Data children willingly commit to memory:
1. the stats of their favorite player or team
2. text and instant message “lingo” (ttyl, g/g, btw, y?)
3. vocabulary and spelling words
4. random factoids about Star Wars (All 6 episodes)
5. Pokemon characters and their powers (there are 500 of them)
6. capitals of the 50 states
7. favorite cable channels
8. sheet music and fingering positions for the piece they are rehearsing
9. endless moves and codes for their favorite video game
10. the alphabet
I think children are good at memorizing things. Many even like to memorize random data just for fun and find it cool to show off what they know.
Most children are born with the capability for memory and some aptitude to remember, but using memory is a learned skill and, to some extent, it’s use it or lose it. The key to improving a child’s memory is to exercise those memory skills. By reading, sorting, categorizing and memorizing, children are actually developing some higher-level thinking skills. Yes, those same higher-level thinking skills that everyone keeps talking about.
We need to embrace and develop this natural interest in memorizing data, not discourage it or eliminate it altogether for fear of being "abusive". Death by drill. It just doesn't happen that way, folks.
Memorization is a good thing, a really useful and wonderful thing. In fact, I would argue that memorizing math facts is even more important than baseball stats, Star Wars or Pokemon.
If children can memorize that type of "data", why not math?
Posted by concernedCTparent at 6:15 PM