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Education is Not Memorization

Education is not a memorization game.

I don’t think I really understood that until last year. It was through a combination of reading Rewiring Education by John D. Conch and entering the field of academia as a full-time educator that I understood the truth in that statement.

  • Education is not about memorization.
  • Education is not about reciting facts.
  • Education is not about training to simply exist within a company.

What is Education?

  • Education is about understanding.
  • Education is about curiosity.
  • Education is about lifelong learning.

A quality education is not determined by grades alone. The merit of an education is found when your student has that sound of excitement in their voice. Where the understanding of concepts and future potential comes together. Most importantly, education is about failure.

Despite all the books and resources we have at our disposal as educators or students — it’s with the failures we face in our projects, our assignments, our work that understanding comes and THAT is education. With the emphasis on grades we are training ourselves and students to fear failure. It’s in that fear of being wrong that education is stifled and passion, curiosity and understanding suffers.

You can’t do today’s jobs with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow.
~George W. Bush

While reading Rewiring Education I learned that the structure we find today was part of Horace Mann’s efforts to provide adequate training in the K-12 sector. This structure was created to train students to succeed in the jobs during the Industrial Revolution. The students were taught for the time they were in — but times have changed.

The training during the era of the Industrial Age filled the need but those needs have since transformed. The employers of today and tomorrow are no longer looking for those who can memorize and work in automation. Today’s employers are seeking out our students to be curious and to grow in possibilities.

To borrow from two of the leadership tenets from one of today’s largest and most successful organization:

Learn and Be Curious Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them.

Bias for Action Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.

The full list of Amazon’s Leadership Principles inspire what our employers are looking for today and tomorrow which leads me to my next book.

The book that sits on my desk today is Ahead in the Cloud by Stephen Orban. In the book, there’s a quote that I find fitting for not only the culture of Amazon and Amazon Web Services but for the transformation in education. You can’t do today’s jobs with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow. ~George W. Bush

Our world has changed since the industrial age. Companies are faster, smarter and require not automation from their employees but thinkers to grow.

The resources are out there. As an educator I’m regularly looking for new ideas to share the wealth of knowledge to students in my hometown and beyond. To borrow from Reshma Saujani and her belief of “failing forward”, here are my personal recommendations to fail, understand and success.

AWS Educate

Girls Who Code

CS First with Google

There are plenty of resources beyond those. Find the one that inspires you and your class to fail with a smile.

Top comments (3)

evidsson profile image
Evidsson • Edited

I totally agree that education isn't memorization. To my mind, it's important to know how to apply gained knowledge in real life/work etc. I know that many of my friends learn the material just to pass the exam or something like that. I don't think that it's the right decision.

johnyw profile image
Andy • Edited

MasterPapers - college paper writing services has been an absolute lifesaver for me during my college years. Their writers are true professionals who always deliver high-quality work on time. I've used their services for everything from essays to research papers, and I've never been disappointed. I can't recommend them enough to my fellow students.

jasonstaurt4321 profile image

Very much agreed, Education should not monetized in the youtube or any other platform but you could have your own education video platform and bring in audience to that platform so when more students register through the platform automatically you will getting a good amount of revenue through it.