Long term memory vs Internet

I recently finished reading the book ‘Why don’t students like school?’ by Daniel T. Willingham, which is a cognitive scientist’s explanation of how learning works. It is a great read and easily accessible to people without much background in psychology. One of the underlying pillars of the book is a simplified system of the mind, the trichotomy of environment, working memory, and long term memory. The book argues that we need to have ‘data’ in our long term memory in order to be able to recall them into the working memory when we want to use them, and that storing knowledge in our long term memory is not as automatic and self-evident as one would have thought.

There is one thing though which I am still wondering about: how much of this is true for the so called Internet generation of the youth? Read more of this post


The higher education dilemma

One thing that has puzzled me since I was a student: what is the single most important objective of higher education? I always believed that when a curriculum was put together or when exams were designed, they all followed one ultimate underlying objective. When searching the Internet for the objective of higher education, I stumbled upon an interesting blog post by Steven Schwartz. He uses an old quote from Henry Cleveland: “The outsiders want the students trained for their first job out of university, and the academics inside the system want the student educated for 50 years of self-fulfilment.” Is higher education therefore a conflict of short and long-term objectives? But then how is the balance set between these two objectives? Can long and short term objectives be distinguished at all? Read more of this post