Dave Carrier Edu 310 MW – 2:00p The Complementary Learning Systems Framework for Memory Using Contemporary Neuroscience Research in Classroom Teaching As teachers, we hope that our students will remember what we teach. It is the fundamental purpose for which our positions exist; it is the measure by which society judges our effectiveness. We teachers have a responsibility to our students, and to society itself, to ensure that our students leave our class with an adequate, functional understanding of the topics that we have been charged with teaching them. As such, it should stand to reason that teachers should have at least a basic understanding of how the mental processes related to memory work. This understanding will allow a teacher to design lessons and perform instructional activities that are optimized for maximum informational retention by students. By employing instructional strategies that are proven to be effective with respect to retention, a teacher can fulfill his or her contract with his or her students, and society, by instilling in his or her students the topics of the curriculum in a manner which the students are likely to remember to a relatively high degree over an extended period of time. Schools are a major mechanism in the process of societal perpetuation and evolution. Society determines what curricula it wants schools to teach, teachers interpret those demands, and students subsequently learn the prescribed curricula. The curricula, collectively, form a baseline of information and common experience that society has decided each individual should have in order to be a functional individual within the larger society. As such, it is important to the student that they have an adequate understanding of the curricula in order to successfully interact with society. It is equally important to society that each student is able to functionally interact within the larger societal context. The entirety of the socially prescribed curriculum can be subdivided in several ways. Initially, one could divide the curriculum into general topics, like history, mathematics, languages, art, etc. Many of these general topics are taught across a span of many years, so it should be logical that there exist as many divisions by grade in which a student is to learn the material as there are years in which they study the material. The topics can be further subdivided in a myriad of different ways, but eventually they can be broken down into elemental facts and concepts; each topic can be thought of as consisting of a set of elemental ideas that are arranged in a conceptually meaningful relationship to one another. To put it another way, each topic consists of both specific pieces of information and general patterns in which all the specifics are meaningfully arranged.
- Fall '07
- Dave Carrier Edu