Is Memorization Necessary?

Is there a need for memorization in school?

I don’t think so.

That opinion is controversial and the most common rebuttal I hear is that if you’re getting surgery, you’d want the doctor to have the parts of the body memorized. Or something along those lines.

What frustrates me about this argument is that the two opinions are compatible. Here’s why:

My friend can recite all the colleges of the 08 NBA draft class. Did he sit down and memorize them? No. He cared about basketball, he looked them up names over time, used them in arguments, saw them on TV and eventually he just knew them all.

He started with a love for a sport. That love drove him to eventually memorize a bunch of information. Why isn’t that the way we teach people?

Instead of having some memorize the bones of the body, why don’t we help them fall in love with healing?

When the system starts with memorizing content, there is no hook. There’s no reason for the student to be engaged. But when we lead with passion, the memorization comes naturally.