Make it stick

Memory's longest attribute is giving what you are learning meaning

Jalynn Falk, Sports Editor

In everyday lives, it’s apparent that many can remember every lyric to each song in their favorite album. However, when children get into the classroom, there are students who can’t remember the vocabulary words for their test and workers who can’t ever remember the code to get into the breakroom. 

Memory capability can completely shape the way we go about educating students in school systems and even in the workplace. By making what people don’t want to learn more enjoyable, it is more likely that they will remember what it is that they are trying to learn. 

ccording to AP Psychology teacher Ms. Maria Porter, memory is a three-step process in which people have to code, store and retrieve. The biggest part of being able to go through the process of memory is giving a memory meaning. People must make a connection to a memory so that they can still be able to keep it in their minds and retrieve it at a point later in time. The brain can only remember a limited number of information, therefore creating memories that are full of detail will help that memory stick. 

Sound and repetition are two ways that help bits of information like song lyrics stay in your memory. Porter mentions that even though one may not like a song, the sound and repetition helps give the song meaning which is crucial for memory. 

Teaching a classroom full of students that may or may not be interested in certain subjects can be challenging for teachers. When there are assignments that are aimed towards helping students remember terms they may need to know on a test or even helping them remember definitions for a quiz, it is difficult to make the main ideas stick for students that may not want to spend time learning about that specific subject. 

“As a teacher, this is something that we all struggle with on a daily basis. One of the best ways to help someone commit something to memory that they may not be that interested in is through personal connection,” Porter said. 

Classroom discussion is one of the most important parts of helping form these connections for students. By making analogies of common topics in notes and using actual students as examples in the classroom, students can associate a topic with a meaning that is true to them. Rather than simply writing words off of a Powerpoint, students are able to engage in the subject that they are learning. 

“Memory is what you make it. Memory is what gives the world around you meaning, whether that is personal, professional of anything in between, memory is what allows you to be you and to interact and have purpose,” Porter said.