Memory and Recall in Education

Memory and recall is a big part of psychology today. It can be defined as the process by which information is encoded, stored and retrieved; as part of the information processing perspective. Encoding or registration is receiving, processing and combining of received information. Whereas, storage can be seen as the creation of a permanent record of the encoded information. Finally, we need to retrieve or recall the information when we subconsciously think we need it. We have two types of memory: Long and short term. Short term memory allows recall for a period of several seconds to a minuet without rehearsal and capacity is limited. Short-term memory is believed to rely mostly on an acoustic code for storing information. On the other hand, long-term memory can process and keep more information for potentially a longer period of time, as studied by Badley in 1966.

Recall is used in education for a variety of reasons: to assess the children have meet the learning objectives, for tests and for assessing children’s previous knowledge when starting a new topic. There are three types of recalls which we may use in education include free, cued and serial recall. So children are given a list of items to remember and then are tested by being recalled in any order (free recall); they could also be given cues in order to recall the information (cued recall); finally, they are taught to recall events or steps in order (serial recall). These are important in education it gives children ways of accessing information when they want. Although, it can be seen as not useful as it may not work on all information and it is not in a real life context.

There are a many ways in which people can improve memory, including memory aids for children in education. These include chunking, cramming and external aids. Chunking is particularly useful for children because it breaks down larger bits of information into smaller chunks. It is the most common way to improve memory in education. Cramming is less likely to be used in education as it is seen to go into your long-term memory as well but is used for exams such as SATs. Finally, external aids includes things like diary’s or calendars to remind us of things; not as commonly used in education but in everyday life by everyone. You need to find out what works for you and what works for the children you are teaching.

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