Republic of Mathematics blog

Posts Tagged ‘cognitive load

What math teachers should know about memory, 2: working memory

Posted by: Gary Ernest Davis on: April 21, 2011

Mathematics teachers commonly complain that their students do not memorize facts, definitions¬† and formulas. In a previous post I described Hermann Ebbinghaus’s experiments on rote memorization, and his finding that memorization of nonsense syllables decays exponentially. What we teachers of mathematics want is for students to recall, at least for the very next class, what […]

Should students memorize the quadratic formula?

Posted by: Gary Ernest Davis on: November 26, 2010

Recently, Dan Meyer @ddmeyer Tweeted: “@MmeVeilleux Sorry if that’s a letdown. I wouldn’t have a kid memorize the quadratic formula.” x So, the question this raises for me, and that I want to address in this post is: should teachers require students to memorize the quadratic formula? x x x The quadratic formula A quadratic […]