Reflections on Module 3.3 – my childhood memories & connection between learning and the real world

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A person with very sharp memory is often compared with a computer. It is true that a computer is able to process information very quickly;however, I would not like my brain to be replaced by a computer because there are lot of other things that my brain can do, like making connections.  Computers rely on software programmers to feed information in them, however, human brain is capable of solving even highly complex problems without computer assistance.

Looking back at my childhood memories, my remotest memories is of the time when I was 2 years old. It didn’t take me long to retrieve these memories as I often think about them. I have vivid memories of that house, few incidents that had happened there, my kitchen garden,etc. Sometimes, I am really surprised that how come, I can remember even the smallest details of that house 🙂

After that, I clearly remember the name of my 1st school, my best friend then but I have a very hazy memory of my 1st teacher and my classroom.

After my pre-school, I entered an elementary school and studied there for 12 years and graduated after High School. These 12 years are printed on my mind- my teachers, my friends, the physical structure of the school…..This has happened because I have constantly retrieved these memories- every time, I visit my hometown (annually), I pass by my school and remember the fond memories, my school friends are still my closest buddies and I am in touch with my school through FB. All these have consolidated those memories and even though, it has been more than 20 years, since I have graduated from there, the memories are fresh and crystal clear.

Anything that we retrieve regularly makes our memories stronger of those events.  If I can make connections that other things, again, I can remember things. For eg, names of people. Our personal predisposition towards things/topics also affect retrieval. For eg, I am not comfortable with numbers. No matter, how much I try, I can’t remember data. I can explain things, reasons,etc, but am never able to support my reason with numbers 😦

Cramming has an adverse affect on our memory. Making connections, understanding the relevance of the content and interest in it helps in remembering. If I am interested in something and believe that it is important for me, I will be able to remember it even after the exam is over, but if I have studied something only for the sake of exams, I will not be able to retrieve it well after the exams.

Making connections is has a big place in today’s education system. I can say this at least for IB curriculum. When I teach my students, I try to make connections with their real life and how that content will be useful for them. This will help them in understanding and remembering it for longer. I don’t remember most of the math and science learned in school as I have never used those things in my real life.


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