Phi Beta Cons

Isn’t It Just a Waste of Time to Have Students Memorize?

One of the cliches of modern education is that “rote learning” is a waste of the students’ time. Among other things, that means no more memorizing of speeches, documents, or poems. If for some reason you want to know what it says, just google it!

Peter Wood disagrees. In this Huffington Post piece, he argues that there are benefits to memorizing poems. The language really gets “inside” the student.

I think that’s right. Most of the time, young people skim over texts and tweets. It’s a good thing for them to have to devote a lot of time to reading and really comprehending some great works.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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