The old and traditional way of learning focuses mostly on memorizing and rote learning. According to the Encarta Dictionary, to learn is to acquire knowledge or skills, while to memorize is to commit something to memory. Our memory includes the maintenance of internal mental records preserved by the brain that gives us instant access to our personal past, facts, skills, and ideas that we have cultivated. However, learning means to modify the stored inputs of the brain as per the new input or experience. Learning is an active process which enables automatic sensory inputs to the brain.
The education sector in India considers memorizing an important tool for learning. However, these days this scenario has been undergoing a radical change. Current methods of teaching have progressed far beyond the traditional method of learning, and are focussed on developing interactive skills rather than memorizing. Instead of the old, chalk-and-board method, teachers are now adopting new learning processes, thus driving students to grasp concepts and theories in an all-embracing manner. The infusion of more activities in schools is helping the students in acquiring skills that make the process of learning faster and more entertaining.
Move beyond the lecture
Driving students to become capable of learning by themselves, is not the same as leaving them to their own devices. The role of an educator is integral in the life of a student. A teacher is more of a coach or a facilitator, rather than a sole content provider. Research shows that students find it exceedingly hard to register every bit of information presented in a lecture. It is the responsibility of an educator to approach the process collaboratively. They should guide students through the learning process, in such a way that students feel equally engaged in the context. In such a setting, understanding a given piece of information is far simpler. Studies from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation show that students with more interactive learning environment perform better than those in traditionally structured classrooms.
Involvement in activities can enhance memory
Engaging in meaningful activities stimulates the neurological system, thus countering the effects of stress-related diseases, while also enhancing good health and reducing the risk of other diseases. Engagement in such activities frees the brain from lethargy and activates it for an amalgamation of information.
- Better memory comes with good observation and learning. Involvement in activities makes the learning process faster and creates a deep impact on the memory.
- The power of visualization can also be enhanced by encouraging the students to draw, or through animations, or by showing them different pictures, and by visiting different places.
- Involvement in activities creates a mind map for the students, which helps them to store vast quantities of information, along with the ability to revise and organise information in their memory. They can create their own personal tree of knowledge on a subject of their choice.
- Activities encourage students in sharing their learning experiences with others, which in turn will help them learn better and absorb skills with greater depth.
In this way, learning and memorization are interlinked. Therefore, if students fail to learn well, their ability to store input in their memory is also rather limited. Involvement in activities offers the brain a mental, gymnastic exercise which results in enhancing the concentration skills of the students. It improves the ability of the brain to reorganize itself by feeding new information and experiences throughout life.