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Feature Article: Teaching Memory

The way an instructor presents material has a great influence on student retention of what is being taught. Trauma is proven to be the absolute best way to fix memory. You will never forget where you were during a tornado or an earthquake. This storage is subject to overload when too much material is fed into the memory bank without the shock of an associated trauma. Some presentations of stalls are made memorable. However, the recovery lesson loses something in the memory bank. Over powered by the trauma of the stall the instructional input of the recovery dissipates and is erased even from the short term memory.

Only significant information gets admitted into the short-term memory. The retention is only brief as significance is weighed, discarded, or entered into long term memory. Only the important is processed again and again into the long term memory until it is 'learned' forever.

An instructor must tailor both the material and the presentation to the student. The first presentation will only be in short term memory unless the instructor can tie to the material a tag of sorts. I use a story or event to relate what is being taught. The story will act as a memory trigger for the student just as it does for me. The story aids the teacher's memory in making reuse of the original material and aids the student in his recall.

The difficulty of this is that stories, especially mine, take time. It is necessary that material be re-presented in a new situation and in a different manner to provide additional associative tags for the student memory bank. Only through repetition can the ability to recall information function on demand. The more meaningful the material to the needs of the student, the more likely it is to be tagged in some way by the student's memory. All memory needs a trigger, a word, a sound, a smell or a view. The more a student participates in the learning situation the more senses are called into play as memory tags.

Last Modified February 22, ©2019 TAGE.COM

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