The ongoing battle between personalized and memorization learning is a fierce one and here is why.
First, let’s start by defining each method. Personalized learning is an educational method that gives students control over the content they learn, the pace of their learning, and uses technology to customize the learning process.
Personalization is a very attractive option and depends on the willingness and creativity of the learner, it has shown its effectiveness in numerous situations by adapting the material with the progress and setbacks of the learner and teaching them information relevant to them.
Memorization learning is an educational method in which the learner commits information learned to his/her long-term memory. Memorization as well has proven itself since it was the only learning method most of us were exposed to, not that it’s bad, it’s actually, to a degree, the reason why we remember most historical dates, names, mathematical proofs, etc.
Second, why are they at war? Well, to put it simply, the two sides don’t think the other works; the supporters of personalization think that memorization is an old school method, they write it off as unnecessary and sometimes a harmful exercise. They claim that we should focus more on teaching students how to think and develop their problem-solving skills, not just memorizing information. Their argument lies within the availability of search engines and that the ability to secure information has never been easier, which made the need for memorizing data decrease.
Since the need to memorize things like the multiplication table, names of war leaders, the capitals of countries, etc., is no longer needed, personalization supporters argue that the student should now choose what to learn and memorize the facts they are interested in. Be aware that personalization does not argue that we erase the concept of memorization because that won’t make much sense, but they encourage teachers to break the mold and give each student the freedom to choose what to memorize and teach them how to think more effectively.
Memorization supporters argue that when you give the student full control over what to learn, they will never learn essential facts and won’t remember various information.
To be clear, learning by memorization is not just rote learning (the act of memorizing by mechanical repetition). Rote learning is one of the ways one can remember information, but it’s not all that this method is.
Memorization can be done in numerous ways, e.g. visualization, rote learning, mnemonics, etc., and it helps with remembering long lists of facts, numbers, or any type of information/data and our brains are very good at remembering and learning. Each time it learns something new or memorizes it, the brain draws a connection between neurons inside it, and the more the thing to be learned is repeated, the stronger the connections are.
The argument here is that students need to memorize things and know information by heart to be able to connect the dots between anything else they learn.
Now, which one is better? Well, both of them are.
Teachers should mix between the two methods to ensure that the students are still learning what they are interested in, but at the same time still know the basics and are able to retain information.
So does this mean that Voxy isn’t utilizing memorization since one of its main features is personalization?
No, Voxy actually uses both of them. The material you study is what’s most relevant to your work and daily life; it’s based on your interests and your progress. However, Voxy still focuses on teaching you the basics and helping you memorize vocabulary, grammar rules, and anything else that once again is relevant to you.