Learning to learn or learning to memorize

Photo by | Ella Vasquez

As students, we often find ourselves cramming, memorizing and doing all we can to get that A (or C—you do you.), which begs the question: When did higher education become more about getting by than gaining knowledge? How did an institution built so individuals can learn and grow become focused on quick cramming sessions that end in forgetting what’s been quickly learned directly after the test?

The answer: standardized testing. First with the ACT and SAT, then the TAKS, which became the STARR, and let’s not forget the TSI… OK, enough acronyms already. The point is that the acronyms are what education systems put all their focus on as soon as a child reaches the third grade. Higher education stops being about learning and growing as an individual and becomes about memorizing what you are going to be tested over and passing and moving on.

This mindset quickly has geared generations and generations to come to lose focus on what really matters in education: learning. Growing up with this mindset being drilled into our heads, it is no wonder that we have all lost track of the true beauty in knowledge.

Older generations come back to school simply because they love to learn, and the younger generations look at them like … seriously … you enjoy this? And they do, because they grew up with the true value of higher education instilled in their minds. We do not have to sit back and allow the mindset standardized testing has drilled into us to take over. We too can love learning like our elders.

If we decide to learn for the love of gaining knowledge and delve into our studies with passion and an open mind, the As (or Cs; we don’t judge) will follow suit. We, the Ranger staff, implore you to remember the value in learning and forget about all that cramming. OK, so go on — learn with the vigor and the childlike passion you once had. Focus on the learning, and the good (OK … better) grades will follow. It’s worth a try. After all, the cramming hasn’t worked.

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