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Old Thu, Mar-18-21, 11:08
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Originally Posted by Ambulo
I remember back in Grammar school, in the 60s, being told that whereas one could get a good grade at "O" level (usually sat at 16) by rote learning and regurgitation of facts, in order to do well at "A" level (usually sat at 18), one would have to demonstrate the ability to critique and show original thought. Nowadays it seems to me that even at University students are only rewarded for parroting what lecturers and textbooks tell them with thought only required at PhD and beyond (and even then, still safer to support the orthodox line).

Completely agree. In fact, the whole notion of memorizing vs comprehension has been turned upside down. When I required my students to be able to derive the small-signal models for transistors from the constitutive equations I was criticized by several students for forcing them to memorize things instead of understanding them. But when I asked them what they meant, they referred to prior classes that only required them to regurgitate and use the models without any requirement at all that they have any comprehension of where those models came from, let alone why they are valid and what the limitations of them are. Yet this is what they believed constituted "understanding" and not "memorization". Having said that, they did have a point in that their approach to being able to derive the models was not to understand what the models mean and how they can be derived from the constitutive equations, but rather to simply memorize the derivations presented in class without having the slightest clue what was going on because that's the learning model all of their prior "education" had instilled in them.
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