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Unformatted text preview: e who are prodigies of physical strength,--and without training. The
IMPRESSIBILITY for memories can in no way be increased except through the stimulation of interest and a CHAPTER III. 27 certain heightening of attention through emotion. For the man or woman concerned with memory the first
point of importance is to find some value in the fact or thing to be learned. Before a subject is broached to
students the teacher should make clear its practical and theoretic value to the students. Too often that is the
last thing done and it is only when the course is finished that its practical meaning is stressed or even
indicated. In fact, throughout, teaching the value of the subject should constantly be emphasized, if possible,
by illustrations from life. There are only a few who love knowledge for its own sake, but there are many who
become eager for learning when it is made practical.
The number of associations given to a fact determines to a large extent its permanence in memory and the
power of recalling it. In my own teaching I always instruct my students in the technique of memorizing, as
1. Listen attentively, making only as many notes as necessary to recall the leading facts. The auditory
memories are thus given the first place.
2. Go home and read up the subject in your textbooks, again making notes. Thus is added the visual
3. Write out in brief form the substance of the lecture, deriving your knowledge from both the lecture and the
book. You thus add another set of associations to your memories of the subject.
4. Teach the subject to or discuss it with a fellow student. By this you vitalize the memories you have, you
link them firmly together, you lend to them the ardor of usefulness and of victory. You are forced to realize
where the gaps, the lacunae of your knowledge come, and are made to fill them in.
Thus the best way to remember a fact is to find a use for it and to link it to your interests and your purposes.
Unrelated it has no value; related it becomes in fact a part of you. After that the mechanics of memory
necessitate the maki...
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- Spring '11