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From: How to Teach

There is no sharp distinction between habit and memory. Both are
governed by the general laws of association. They shade off into each
other, and what one might call habit another with equal reason might
call memory. Their likenesses are greater than their differences.
However, there is some reason for treating the topic of association
under these two heads. The term memory has been used by different
writers to mean at least four different types of association. t has
been used to refer to the presence of mental images; to refer to the
consciousness of a feeling or event as belonging to one's own past
experience; to refer to the presence of connections between situation
and motor response; and to refer to the ability to recall the
appropriate response to a particular situation. The last meaning of the
term is the one which will be used here. The mere flow of imagery is not
memory, and it matters little whether the appropriate response be
accompanied by the time element and the personal element or not. n
fact, most of the remembering which is done in daily life lacks these
two elements.

Memory then is the recall of the appropriate response in a given
situation. t differs from habit in that the responses referred to are
more often mental rather than motor; in that it is less automatic, more
purposeful. The fact that the elements involved are so largely mental
makes it true that the given fact is usually found to have several
connections and the given situation to be connected with many facts.
Which particular one will be "appropriate" will depend on all sorts of
subtle factors, hence the need of the control of the connection aeries
by a purpose and the diminishing of the element of automaticity. As was
said before, there is no hard and fast line of division between habit
and memory. The recall of the "sqrt(64)" or of how to spell "home" or of
the French for "table" might be called either or both. All that was said
in the discussion of habit applies to memory.

This ability to recall appropriate facts in given situations is
dependent primarily on three factors: power of retention, number of
associations, organization of associations. The first factor, power of
retention, is the most fundamental and to some extent limits the
usefulness of the other two. t is determined by the character of the
neurones and varies with different brains. Neurones which are easily
impressed and retain their impression simply because they are so made
are the gift of nature and the corner stone of a good memory. This
retention power is but little, if at all, affected by practice. t is a
primary quality of the nervous system, present or absent to the degree
determined by each individual's original nature. Hence memory as a whole
cannot be unproved, although the absence of certain conditions may mean
that it is not being used up to its maximum capacity. Change in these
conditions, then, will enable a person to make use of all the native
retentiveness his nervous system has. One of the most important of these
conditions is good health. To the extent that good blood, sleep,
exercise, etc., put the nervous system in better tone, to that extent
the retentive power present is put in better working order. Every one
knows how lack of sleep and illness is often accompanied by loss in
memory. Repetition, attention, interest, vividness of impression, all
appeal primarily to this so-called "brute memory," or retentive power.
Pleasurable results seem not to be quite so important, and repetition to
be more so when the connections are between mental states instead of
between mental states and motor responses. An emphasis on, or an
improvement in, the use of any one of these factors may call into play
to a greater extent than before the native retentive power of a given

The power to recall a fact or an event depends not only upon this
quality of retentiveness, but also upon the number of other facts or
events connected with it. Each one of these connections serves as an
avenue of approach, a clew by means of which the recall may operate. Any
single blockade therefore may not hinder the recall, provided there are
many associates. This is true, no matter how strong the retentive power
may be. t is doubly important if the retentive power is weak. Suppose a
given fact to be held rather weakly because of comparatively poor
retentive power, then the operation of one chain of associates may not
be energetic enough to recall it. But if this same fact may be
approached from several different angles by means of several chains of
associations, the combined power of the activity in the several neurone
chains will likely be enough to lift it above the threshold of recall.
Other things being equal, the likelihood that a needed fact will be
recalled is in proportion to the number of its associations.

The third factor upon which goodness in memory depends is the
organization of associates. Number of connections is an aid to
memory--but systematization among these connections is an added help.
Logical arrangement of facts in memory, classification according to
various principles, orderly grouping of things that belong together,
make the operation of memory more efficient and economical. The
difference between mere number of associations and orderly arrangement
of those associations may be illustrated by the difference in efficiency
between the housekeeper who starts more or less blindly to look all over
the house for a lost article, and the one who at least knows that it
must be in a certain room and probably in a certain bureau drawer.
Although memory as a whole cannot be improved because of the limiting
power of native retentiveness, memory for any fact or in any definite
field may be improved by emphasizing these two factors: number of
associations and organization among associations.

Although all three factors are operative in securing the best type of
memory, still the efficiency of a given memory may be due more to the
unusual power of one of them than to the combined effect of the three.
t is this difference in the functioning of these three factors which is
primarily responsible for certain types of memory which will be
discussed later. t must also be borne in mind that the power of these
factors to operate in determining recall varies somewhat with age.
Little children and old people are more dependent upon mere
retentiveness than upon either of the others, the former because of lack
of experience and lack of habits of thought, the latter because of the
loss of both of these factors. The adult depends more on the
organization of his material, while in the years between the number of
the clews is probably the controlling factor. Here again there is no
sharp line of division; all three are needed. So in the primary grades
we begin to require children to organize, and as adults we do all we can
to make the power of retention operate at its maximum.

Many methods of memorizing have been used by both children and adults.
Recently experimental psychology has been testing some of them. So far
as the learner is concerned, he may use repetition, or concentration, or
recall as a primary method. Repetition means simply the going over and
over again the material to be learned--the element depended upon being
the number of times the connection is made. Concentration means going
over the material with attention. Not the number of connections is
important, but the intensity of those connections. n recall the
emphasis is laid upon reinstating the desired connections from within.
n using this method, for instance, the learner goes over the material
as many times as he sees necessary, then closes the book and recalls
from memory what he can of it.

The last of the three methods is by far the best, whether the memory
desired be rote or logical, for several reasons. n the first place it
involves both the other methods or goes beyond them. Second, it is
economical, for the learner knows when he knows the lesson. Third, it is
sure, for it establishes connections as they will be used--in other
words, the learning provides for recall, which is the thing desired,
whereas the other two methods establish only connections of impression.
Fourth, it tends to establish habits that are of themselves worth while,
such as assuming responsibility for getting results, testing one's own
power and others. Fifth, it encourages the use of the two factors upon
which memory depends, which are most capable of development, _i.e.,_
number and organization of associations.

n connection with the use of the material two methods have been
employed--the part method and the whole method. The learner may break
the material up into sections, and study just one, then the next, and so
on, or he may take all the material and go through with it from the
beginning to the end and then back again. Experimental results show the
whole method to be the better of the two. However, in actual practice,
especially with school children, probably a combination of the two is
still better, because of certain difficulties arising from the exclusive
use of the whole method. The advantages of the whole method are that it
forms the right connections and emphasizes the complete thought and
therefore saves time and gives the right perspective. ts difficulties
are that the material is not all of equal difficulty and therefore it is
wasteful to put the same amount of time on all parts; it is discouraging
to the learner, as no part may be raised above the threshold of recall
at the first study period (particularly true if it is rote memory); it
is difficult to use recall, if the whole method is rigidly adhered to. A
combination of the two is therefore wise. The learner should be
encouraged to go over the material from beginning to end, until the
difficult parts become apparent, then to concentrate on these parts for
a time and again go over from the beginning--using recall whenever

A consideration of the time element involved in memorizing has given use
to two other methods, the so-called concentrated and distributive. Given
a certain amount of time to spend on a certain subject, the learner may
distribute it in almost an infinite number of ways, varying not only the
length of the period of practice, but also the length of time elapsing
between periods. The experimental work done in connection with these
methods has not resulted in agreement. No doubt there is an optimum
length of period for practice and an optimum interval, but too many
factors enter in to make any one statement. "The experimental results
justify in a rough way the avoidance of very long practice periods and
of very short intervals. They seem to show, on the other hand, that much
longer practice periods than are customary in the common schools are
probably entirely allowable, and that much shorter intervals are
allowable than those customary between the just learning and successive
'reviews' in schools."[4] This statement leaves the terms very long and
very short to be defined, but at present the experimental results are
too contradictory to permit of anything more specific. However, a few
suggestions do grow from these results. The practice period should be
short in proportion as these factors are present: first, young or
immature minds; second, mechanical mental processes as opposed to
thought material; third, a learner who "warms up" quickly; the presence
of fatigue; a function near its limit. Thus the length of the optimum
period must vary with the age of the learner, the subject matter, the
stage of proficiency in the subject, and the particular learner. The
same facts must be taken into consideration in deciding on the optimum
interval. One fact seems pretty well established in connection with the
interval, and that is that a comparatively short period of practice with
a review after a night's rest counts more than a much longer period
added to the time spent the evening before.

There are certain suggestions which if carried out help the learner in
his memorizing. n the first place, as the number of associates is one
factor determining recall, the fact to be remembered should be presented
in many ways, _i.e.,_ appealing to as many senses as possible. n
carrying this out, it has been the practice of many teachers to require
the material to be remembered to be acted out or written. This is all
right in so far as the muscular reactions required are mechanical and
take little attention. f, on the other hand, the child has to give much
attention to how he is to dramatize it, or if writing in itself is as
yet a partially learned process, the attention must be divided between
the fact to be memorized and its expression, and hence the desired
result is not accomplished. Colvin claims that "writing is not an aid to
learning until the sixth or seventh grade in the schools." This same
fact that an association only partly known is a hindrance rather than a
help in fixing another is often violated both in teaching spelling and
language. f the spelling of "two" is unknown or only partly known, it
is a hindrance instead of a help to teach it at the same time "too" is
being taught. Second, the learner should be allowed to find his own
speed, as it varies tremendously with the individual. Third, rhythm is
always an aid when it can be used, such as learning the number of days
in each month in rhyme. Fourth, after a period of hard mental work a few
minutes (Pillsbury thinks three to six) should elapse before definitely
taking up a new line of work. This allows for the so-called "setting" of
associations, due to the action of the general law of inertia, and tends
to diminish the possibility of interference from the bonds called into
play by the new work. Fifth, mnemonic devices of simple type are
sometimes an aid. Most of these devices are of questionable value, as
they themselves require more memory work than the facts they are
supposed to be fixing. However, if devised by the learner, or if
suggested by some one else after failure on the part of the learner to
fix the material, they are permissible.

Memory has been classified in various ways, according to the time
element, as immediate and permanent. mmediate memory is the one which
holds for a short time, whereas permanent memory holds for a long time.
People differ markedly in this respect. Some can if tested after the
study period reproduce the material with a high degree of accuracy, but
lose most of it in a comparatively short time. Others, if tested in the
same way, reproduce less immediately, but hold what they have over a
long period. Children as a whole differ from adults in having poorer
immediate memories, but in holding what is fixed through years. Of
course permanent memory is the more valuable of the two types for most
of life, but on the other hand immediate memory has its own special
value. Lawyers, physicians, politicians, ministers, lecturers, all need
great power of immediate memory in their particular professions. They
need to be able to hold a large amount of material for a short time, but
then they may forget a great deal of it.

Memory is also classified according to the arrangement of the material
as desultory, rote, and logical memory. n desultory memory the facts
just "stick" because of the great retentive power of the brain, there
are few connections, the material is disconnected and disjointed. Rote
memory depends on a special memory for words, aided by serial
connections and often rhythm. Logical is primarily a memory for meanings
and depends upon arrangement and system for its power. Little children
as a class have good desultory memories and poor logical memories. Rote
memory is probably at its best in the pre-adolescent and early
adolescent years. Logical memory is characteristic of mature, adult
minds. However, some people excel in one rather than another type, and
each renders its own peculiar service. A genius in any line finds a good
desultory memory of immense help, despite the fact that logical memory
is the one he finds most valuable. Teachers, politicians, linguists,
clerks, waiters, and others need a well-developed desultory memory. Rote
memory is, of course, necessary if an individual is to make a success as
an actor, a singer, or a musician.

According to the rate of acquisition memory has been classified into
quick and slow. One learner gets his material so much more quickly than
another. Up to rather recent years the quick learner has been
commiserated, for we believed, "quickly come, quickly go." Experimental
results have proved this not to be true, but in fact the reverse is more
true, _i.e.,_ "quickly come, slowly go." The one who learns quickly,
provided he really learns it, retains it just as long and on the average
longer than the one who learns much more slowly. The danger, from a
practical point of view, is that the quick learner, because of his
ability, gets careless and learns the material only well enough to
reproduce at the time, whereas the slow learner, because of his lack of
ability, raises his efficiency to a higher level and therefore retains.
f the quick learner had spent five minutes more on the material, he
would have raised his work to the same level as that of the slow one and
yet have finished in perhaps half the time.

All through the discussion of kinds of memory the term "memory" should
have been used in the plural, for after all we possess "memories" and
not a single faculty memory which may be quick, or desultory, or
permanent. The actual condition of affairs is much more complex, for
although it has been the individual who has been designated as quick or
logical, it would be much more accurate to designate the particular
memory. The same person may have a splendid desultory memory for gossip
and yet in science be of the logical type. n learning French
vocabularies he may have only a good immediate memory, whereas his
memory for faces may be most lasting. His ability to learn facts in
history may class him as a quick learner, whereas his slowness in
learning music may be proverbial. The degree to which quickness of
learning or permanence of memory in one line is correlated with that
same ability in others has not yet been ascertained. That there is some
correlation is probable, but at present the safest way is to think in
terms of special memories and special acquisitions. Some experimental
work has been done to discover the order in which special memories
develop in children. The results, however, are not in agreement and the
experiments themselves are unsatisfactory. That there is some more or
less definite order of development, paralleling to a certain extent the
growth of instincts, is probable, but nothing more definite is known
than observation teaches. For instance, every observer of children knows
that memory for objects develops before memory for words; that memory
for gestures preceded memory for words; that memory for oral language
preceded memory for written language; that memory for concrete objects
preceded memory for abstractions. Further knowledge of the development
of special memories should be accompanied by knowledge as to how far
this development is dependent on training and to what extent lack of
memory involves lack of understanding before it can be of much practical
value to the teacher.

Just as repetition or exercise tends to fix a fact in memory, so disuse
of a connection results in the fact fading from memory. "Forgetting" is
a matter of everyday experience for every one. The rate of forgetting
has been the subject of experimental work. Ebbinghaus's investigation is
the historical one. The results from this particular series of
experiments are as follows: During the first hour after study over half
of what was learned had been forgotten; at the end of the first day two
thirds, and at the end of a month about four fifths. These results have
been accepted as capable of rather general application until within the
last few years. Recent experiments in learning poetry, translation of
French into English, practice in addition and multiplication, learning
to toss balls and to typewrite, and others, make clear that there is no
general curve of forgetting. The rate of forgetting is more rapid soon
after the practice period than later, but the total amount forgotten and
the rate of deterioration depend upon the particular function tested. No
one function can serve as a sample for others. No one curve of
forgetting exists for different functions at the same stage of
advancement or for the same function at different stages of advancement
in the same individual, much less for different functions, at different
stages of advancement, in different individuals. Much more experimental
work is needed before definite general results can be stated.

This experimental work, however, is suggestive along several lines, (1)
t seems possible that habits of skill, involving direct sensori-motor
bonds, are more permanent than memories involving connections between
association bonds. n other words, that physical habits are more lasting
than memories of intellectual facts. (2) Overlearning seems a necessary
correlate of permanence of connection. That is, what seems to be
overlearning at beginning stages is really only raising the material to
the necessary level above the threshold for retention. How far
overlearning is necessary and when it becomes wasteful are yet to be
determined. (3) Deterioration is hastened by competing connections. f
during the time a particular function is lying idle other bonds of
connection are being formed into some parts or elements of it, the rate
of forgetting of the function in question is hastened and the
possibility of recall made more problematic. The less the interference,
the greater will be the permanence of the particular bonds.

A belief maintained by some psychologists is in direct opposition to
this general law that disuse causes deterioration. t is usually stated
something like this, that periods of incubation are necessary in
acquiring skill, or that letting a function lie fallow results in
greater skill at the end of that period, or briefly one learns to skate
in summer and swim in winter. To some extent this is true, but as stated
it is misleading. The general law of the effect of disuse on a memory is
true, but under some circumstances its effect is mitigated by the
presence of other factors whose presence has been unnoted. Sometimes
this improvement without practice is explained by the fact that at the
last practice period the actual improvement was masked by fatigue or
boredom, so that disuse involving rest and the disappearance of fatigue
and boredom produces apparent gain, when in reality it but allows the
real improvement to become evident. Sometimes a particular practice
period was accompanied by certain undesirable elements such as worry,
excitement, misunderstandings, and so on, and therefore the improvement
hindered or masked, whereas at the next period under different
conditions there would be less interference and therefore added gain.
All experimental evidence is against the opinion that mere disuse in and
of itself produces gain. n fact, all results point to the fact that
disuse brings deterioration.

n the case of memory, as has already been described in habit formation,
reviews which are organized with the period between repetitions only
gradually lengthened may do much to insure permanence. t is entirely
feasible to have children at the end of any school year able to repeat
the poems or prose selections which they have memorized, provided that
they have been recalled with sufficient frequency during the course of
the year. n a subject like geography or history, or in the study of
mathematics or science, in which logical memory is demanded, systematic
reviews, rather than cramming for examinations, will result in
permanence of command of the facts or principles involved, especially
when these reviews have involved the right type of organization and as
many associations as is possible.

t is important in those subjects which involve a logical organization
of ideas to have ideas associated around some particular problem or
situation in which the individual is vitally interested. Children may
readily forget a large number of facts which they have learned about
cats in the first grade, while the same children might remember, very
many of them, had these facts been organized round the problem of taking
care of cats, and of how cats take care of themselves. A group of
children in an upper grade may forget with great rapidity the facts of
climate, soil, surface drainage, industries, and the like, while they
may remember with little difficulty facts which belong under each of
these categories on account of the interest which they have taken in the
problem, "Why is the western part of the United States much more
sparsely populated than the Mississippi alley?" Boys and girls who
study physics in the high school may find it difficult to remember the
principles involved in their study of heat if they are given only in
their logical order and are applied only in laboratory exercises which
have little or no meaning for them, while the same group of high school
pupils may remember without difficulty these same laws or principles if
associated round the issue of the most economical way of heating their
houses, or of the best way to build an icehouse.

There has been in our school system during the past few years more or
less of a reaction against verbatim memorization, which is certainly
justified when we are considering those subjects which involve primarily
an organization of ideas in terms of problems to be solved, rather than
memory for the particular form of expression of the ideas in question.
t is worth while, however, at every stage of education to use whatever
power children may possess for verbatim memorization, especially in the
field of literature, and to some extent in other fields as well. t
seems to the writers to be worth while to indicate as clearly as
possible in the illustration which follows the method to be employed in
verbatim memorization. As will be easily recognized, the number and
organization of associations are an important consideration. t is
especially important to call attention to the fact that any attempt at
verbatim memorization should follow a very careful thinking through of
the whole selection to be memorized. An organization of the ideas in
terms of that which is most important, and that which can be
subordinated to these larger thoughts, a combination of method of
learning by wholes and by parts, is involved.

t is not easy to indicate fully the method by which one would attempt
to teach to a group of sixth-grade boys or girls Wordsworth's
"Daffodils." The main outline of the method may, however, be indicated
as follows: The first thing to be done is to arouse, in so far as is
possible, some interest and enthusiasm for the poem in question. One
might suggest to the class something of the beauty of the high, rugged
hills, and of the lakes nestling among them in the region which is
called the "Lake Region" in England. The Wordsworth cottage near one of
the lakes, and at the foot of one of the high hills, together with the
walk which is to this day called Wordsworth's Walk, can be brought to
the mind, especially by a teacher who has taken the trouble to know
something of Wordsworth's home life. The enthusiasm of the poet for the
beauties of nature and his enjoyment in walking over the hills and
around the lakes, is suggested by the poem itself. One might suggest to
the pupils that this is the story of a walk which he took one morning
early in the spring.

The attempt will be made from this point on to give the illustration as
the writer might have hoped to have it recorded as presented to a
particular class. The poet tells us first of his loneliness and of the
surprise which was his when he caught sight for the first time of the
daffodils which had blossomed since the last time that he had taken this
particular walk:

" wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze."

You see, he was not expecting to meet any one or to have any unusual
experience. He "wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o'er
vales and hills," and his surprise was complete when he saw
suddenly,--"all at once saw a crowd, a _host_ of _golden_ daffodils,
beside the lake, beneath the trees." You might have said that they were
waving in the wind, but he saw them "fluttering and dancing in the

The daffodils as they waved and danced in the breeze suggested to him
the experience which he had had on other walks which he had taken when
the stars were shining, and he compares the golden daffodils to the
shining, twinkling stars:

"Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay;
Ten thousand saw at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance."

The daffodils were as "continuous as the stars that shine and twinkle on
the Milky Way." There was no beginning and no end to the line,--"They
stretched in never-ending line along the margin of a bay." He saw as
many daffodils as one might see stars,--"Ten thousand saw at a glance,
tossing their heads in sprightly dance."

The poet has enjoyed the beauty of the little rippling waves in the
lake, and he tells us that

"The waves beside them danced; but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
n such a jocund company:
gazed--and gazed,--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:"

The daffodils have really left the poet with a great joy,--the waves
beside the daffodils are dancing, "but they outdid the _sparkling_ waves
in glee," and of course "a poet could not but be gay in such a jocund
company." Had you ever thought of flowers as a jocund company? You
remember they fluttered and danced in the breeze, they lifted their
heads in sprightly dance. Do you wonder that the poet says of his
experience, " gazed--and gazed,--but little thought what wealth the
show to me had brought"? wonder if any of you have ever had a similar
experience. remember the days when used to go fishing, and there is
a great joy even now in recalling the twitter of the birds and the hum
of the bees as lay on the bank and waited for the fish to bite.

And what is the great joy which is his, and which may belong to us, if
we really see the beautiful things in nature? He tells us when he says

"For oft, when on my couch lie
n vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils."

There are days when we cannot get out of doors,--"For oft, when on my
couch lie in vacant or in pensive mood,"--these are the days when we
recall the experiences which we have enjoyed in the days which are
gone,--"they flash upon that inward eye which is the bliss of solitude."
And then for the poet, as well as for us, "And then my heart with
pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils."

Now let us get the main ideas in the story which the poet tells us of
his adventure. " wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o'er
vales and hills," " saw a crowd, a host, of golden daffodils," they
were "beside the lake, beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the
breeze." They reminded me as saw the beautiful arched line of "the
stars that shine and twinkle on the Milky Way," because "they stretched
in never-ending line along the margin of a bay"; and as watched "ten
thousand" saw, "tossing their heads in sprightly dance." And then they
reminded me of the waves which sparkled near by, "but they outdid the
sparkling waves in glee," and in the happiness which was mine, "
gazed--and gazed,--but little thought what wealth the show to me had
brought." And that happiness can depend upon when upon my couch lie
in vacant or in pensive mood, for "they flash upon that inward eye which
is the bliss of solitude," and my heart will fill with pleasure and
dance with the daffodils.

These, then, are the big ideas which the poet has,--he wanders lonely as
a cloud, he enjoys the great surprise of the daffodils, the great crowd,
the host, of golden daffodils, fluttering and dancing in the breeze; he
thinks of the stars that twinkle in the Milky Way, because the line of
daffodils seems to have no beginning and no end,--he sees ten thousand
of them at a glance, tossing their heads in sprightly dance. And as he
looks at them he thinks of the beauty of the sparkling waves, and thinks
of them as they dance with glee, and he gazes and gazes without thinking
of the wealth of the experience. But later when he writes the poem, he
tells us of the wealth of the experience which can last through all of
the days when he lies on his couch in vacant or in pensive mood, for it
is then that this experience flashes upon that inward eye which is the
bliss of solitude, and his heart fills with pleasure and dances with the

Now let us say it all over again, and see how nearly we are able to
recall the story of his experience in just the words that he used.
will read it for you first, and then you may all try to repeat it after

The teacher then reads the whole poem through, possibly more than once,
and then asks all of the children to recite it with him, repeating
possibly the first stanza twice or three times until they get it, and
then the second stanza two or three times, then the third as often as
may be necessary, and finally the fourth. t may be well then to go back
and again analyze the thought, and indicate, using as far as possible
the author's own words, the development of ideas through the poem. Then
the poem should be recited as a whole by the teacher and children. The
children may then be left to study it so that they may individually on
the next day recite it verbatim. The writer has found it possible to
have a number of children in a sixth grade able to repeat the poem
verbatim after the kind of treatment indicated above, and at the end of
a period of fifteen minutes.


1. Distinguish in so far as you can between habit and memory.

2. Name the factors which determine one's ability to recall.

3. How can you hope to improve children's memories? Which of the factors
involved are subject to improvement?

4. n what way can you improve the organization of associations upon the
part of children in any one of the subjects which you teach? How
increase the number of associations?

5. What advantage has the method of concentration over the method of
repetition in memorization?

6. Give the reasons why the method of recall is the best method of

7. f you were teaching a poem of four stanzas, would you use the method
of memorization by wholes or by parts? ndicate clearly the degree to
which the one or the other method should be used or the nature of the
combination of methods for the particular selection which you use for
the purposes of illustration.

8. How long do children in your classes seem to be able to work hard at
verbatim memorization?

9. Under what conditions may the writing of the material being memorized
actually interfere with the process? When may it help?

10. Why may it not be wise to attempt to teach "their" and "there" at
the same time?

11. What is the type of memory employed by children who have
considerable ability in cramming for examinations? s this type of
memory ever useful in later life?

12. What precaution do we need to take to insure permanence in memory
upon the part of those who learn quickly?

13. What is meant by saying that we possess memories rather than a power
or capacity called memory?

14. Do we forget with equal rapidity in all fields in which we have
learned? What factors determine the rate of forgetting?

15. Why should a boy think through a poem to be memorized rather than
beginning his work by trying to repeat the first two lines?

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