Breda O’Brien: Blanket rejection of rote learning is not so smart

It is absolutely wrong to say that memorisation has no place in education

There were emotional scenes at Pobalscoil Neasáin in Baldoyle, Dublin as students gathered to get their Leaving Certificate Results. Video: Bryan O'Brien

Complaints that the Leaving Cert focuses too much on rote learning and not enough on higher-order thinking surface at this time every year.

There is no doubt the Leaving Cert is in need of reform, but while it is absolutely right to condemn learning off and regurgitating poorly understood material, it is absolutely wrong to say that memorisation has no place in education. Without subject-specific facts committed to long-term memory, higher-order thinking is not possible.

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