Task 7- I’ve forgotten what my title was going to be…..

Posted by Charlotte on May 19, 2016

I feel that Willingham and I have become fast friends over the past few weeks. His article, as usual, seems to be pointing out many of the major misconceptions I have had to answer during my explanations that “Yes, I am a Psychologist.” “No, I am not a Psychic.” and “No, I cannot tell you why you are dreaming about being killed by an over grown banana.”. I think that memory is a difficult concept to grasp in reality- scientifically speaking it’s the process of the input, storage and retreival of external stimuli- but in  a broader more useful sense models have been created that over simplify this process. The two major benches of this lie in the Working Memory Model and the even more simplified Short Term to Long Term memory model. The idea that we only really remember the most salient piece of information from a stimuli, I think may be slightly controversial. I tend to over analyse conversations and I think it’s safe to say that the part I over think most is the bit that sticks with me- but I have also been able to recall silly bits of information- such as a phone number I once had to type into my home phone as I had run out of credit and that my RE teacher in Year 7’s birthday is on the 23rd April. To reduce memory to such a simple idea is dangerous- this doesn’t take into those with non-standard memory.

I think that Syed may have something when he emphasises the mindset of a large proportion of students who are ashamed of having to work harder for their success. I, myself, have always had to work hard at what I have done academically speaking, my brother on the other hand has sailed through his exams without trying particularly hard. I did in reality do better in my exams but my brother did well enough. The difference is that the hard work I put in when I was younger has made higher education a lot easier for me. For example, writing an essay itself is egnerally not a problem for me in the sense of grammar so I can focus on my points whereas my brother now has to pay attention to make sure it makes sense. Although this doesn’t take into account who was born more naturally able. I do feel that a measure of success should be assessed upon a basis of improvement rather than an attainment level- why do we need to compare ourselves to others all of the time? I think that the movement of assessment criteria within schools to a focus on ‘Progress 8’ (a measure of a students levels of progress in certain subjects with Maths and English counting as 2 subjects each) scores as opposed to how many A*-C grades have achieved should help to combat this issue.

After having tried to draw the circles and learn pi to 150 decimal places- I can say that practising drawing circles did not improve my ability no matter how angry the cats were and that after a few days of learning pi I’m not much better than I was before and I think that the chunking needed to be more personal to me to help me remmeber and not arranged by a computer.

1 Comment

  1. Fintan Donnellan
    21 May 2016

    Yes, I too think that it is a real thing that people do feel a little embarrassed at having to work harder at something than another person. They probably think that their “lack of intelligence” has to be compensated for with a lot of effort. It’s not a very positive mind-set to have. It would be great if we could all just accept that some people find things easier than others and that we all learn at different rates. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. As soon as we stop putting ‘natural talent’ on a pedestal, people can feel just as proud of their ability to work hard as much as their ease at being able to do something.

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