We have already discussed memory level of teaching in the article Levels of teaching.
Teaching and learning at memory level are committing factual material to the memory. The learner learns the material, retain the meaningful material and reproduce the material as and when required.
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Objectives of memory level teaching
- Imparting knowledge and information to the learner.
- Knowledge or information gained by the learner is factual in nature. It is acquired through memorization or rote learning.
- It covers only the knowledge-based objectives of Bloom’s Taxonomy. At this level, the student learns to identify, recall or remembers the objects, events, ideas and retain them in memory.
Nature of subject matter
- At this level, teaching is subject centered.
- Simple things are taught to students that can be memorized easily.
- The subject matter is well organized and is simple in nature so that it can be acquired through rote learning.
- Subject matter includes the information about simple concepts, terms, and elements related to different things of the world around us.
- Thus the knowledge delivered to learners is definite, structured and observable.
- We know that at this level of teaching is subject-centered so teacher dominant methods like drill, review, and revision, and asking questions are often used.
- Drill means repetition or practice for the purpose of attaining proficiency in memorizing the material.
- Review or revision is considered the method of revising the elements to relate them to new experiences and to form new associations for the development of new skills or learning to solve new problems.
- Asking question technique is used to examine whether or not knowledge level objectives of teaching have been achieved.
Role of the teacher
- The teacher plays a very dominating and authoritarian role.
- He is the authority to instruct, deliver, direct, control and evaluate performance. He is the stage setter, learning resource and manager of every classroom activity.
- So, in this level of teaching right from the selection of the subject matter to its evaluation, the key process of teaching and learning remains with the teacher.
Role of Learner
- In memory level teaching role of the learner is a passive one.
- This is because contents of the subject matter, teaching tools, and methods employed for teaching are all decided by the teacher.
- The characteristics of the learner should be taken care of while framing objectives and curriculum, and selecting teaching-learning activities and methods of teaching and evaluation.
- Teaching equipment work as an assistant in the process of teaching and learning
- Different kinds of teaching aids like visual, audio and audio-visual aids, e.g. models, charts, maps, pictures, T.V., radio etc. develop a curiosity of the learners towards the subject-matter.
- The teacher can use a variety of teaching aids to make students attentive to learning.
Nature of Motivation
- Motivation is something that drives students to learn. To satisfy his own desire of learning should be an intrinsic feeling, not a forced one.
- In memory level of teaching the teacher forces the students to learn the content through the process of memorization.
- Hence the nature of motivation at this level of teaching is purely extrinsic.
- In the evaluation, the teacher measures the learning outcomes based on predetermined objectives.
- Here both oral and written tests are used to test the memory power of students.
- In the written test, short type, recall type, recognition type, multiple choice, and matching type test items are used.
- Students are required to attempt the maximum number of questions.
Psychological Bases of Memory Level of Teaching
According to Jean Piaget, beginner learners in school are at the pre-operational level of cognitive development and they cannot operate upon abstract concepts. As per their mental development, they can learn simple concepts without analyzing their true meaning and nature. They should not be expected to reflect upon them.
The Herbartian theory of apperception supports that the young children’s mind is ready for perceiving themselves and the world around. Their mind is ready for a great mass of factual information including concepts, elements, structures, models and theories. They can acquire and retain information about a large number of things, objects, and material through memorization.
Conditioning theory has been advocated, Pavlov and Skinner. It underlies the idea that correct response made by the individual is strengthened by reinforcement to retain the learned subject-matter longer and to facilitate ease in further learning. Classical conditioning of Pavlov involves the mechanical process as is applied at memory level teaching; and thorough review or retrieval, correct learning by the student is rewarded and retained for further use.
Merits and demerits of the memory level of teaching are given in following article levels of teaching
Overall Thoughts on memory level teaching
In sum, it cannot be said that memory level teaching is totally meaningless and useless. It is useful for young children when their mental ability is not so well-developed and their cognitive development is at a low level. They are not expected to reason out and reflect upon teaching material and contents. It is the age when they have to expand and broaden their view by receiving and accepting more information about concepts, elements, things, objects, and structures.
Suggestions for Memory Level Teaching
- The teaching material should be meaningful and purposeful.
- The teaching material should have a definite structure and it should be simple to complex.
- Adequate and appropriate teaching aids should be used for teaching.
- All parts of the content should be integrated and well sequenced.
- The subject-matter should be presented in a systematic and organized way.
- There must be a continuous evaluation to measure the improve the memory power of students.
- The retention of the material in memory of students can be increased by more practice and exercise.
- The continuous reinforcement should be provided during the course of instruction.