LEARNING BY REPETITION-AN EFFECTIVE LEARNING TECHNIQUE
Learning by repetition is one of the most basic learning techniques. Study after study have shown the benefits of learning by repetition. Infants use it to learn to speak. And athletes such as Rick Mount, the first high school athlete to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s used learning by repetition to perfect his basketball shots shooting for hours at a time between his summer job shifts at the local park.
In their article, the Professional Learning Board, an online teacher resource reports that…”the way of developing a skill is to make it a stored routine in the students’ system. To make this happen, the most important first step is to bring the skill to a conscious level where the student is deliberately thinking about the activity (not necessarily the skill). In other words, the student knows what skill they’re lacking in and focuses on doing activities that will help them build this skill. This can be termed as learning by repetition. As a skill is practiced or rehearsed over days and weeks, the activity becomes easier and easier while naturally forcing the skill to a subconscious level where it becomes permanently stored for recall and habitual use at any time.”
For example, when infant learn to speak, the more attempts a child makes, the more the brain reinforces the words and after some time, the child doesn’t have to stop and think about them because they become so firmly encoded in the brain. This is the power of learning by repetition.
In fact, learning by repetition is one of the most intuitive principle of learning, with roots all the way back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese and Greek education. Aristotle commented on the role of repetition in learning by saying “it is frequent repetition that produces a natural tendency” and “the more frequently two things are experienced together, the more likely it will be that the experience or recall of one will stimulate the recall of the other. Pavlov proved the same concept with his experiments with dogs.
NEJM Knowledge+, a resource for medical professionals found that spacing intervals of repetition is the most effective way to learn. Their article by the same name reports that: “people forget what they’ve learned at a predictable rate, but relearning the material at spaced intervals dramatically improves long-term recall. A study in the journal Medical Education in 2011 showed that on tests of basic science, physicians’ “performance decreased from approximately 40% correct answers for students still in medical school, to 25-30% correct answers for doctors after many years of practice.” Sean H. K. Kang, of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire also reported in his article that spaced intervals of learning by repletion promoted effective and efficient learning.
Learning by repetition is also known as “Rote Learning”, a memorization technique based on repetition so that one will be able to quickly recall the meaning of the material the more one repeats it. And, “Spaced Repetition” is a learning technique that incorporates increasing intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned material and is well suited for the problem of language and mathematical learning.
These techniques are also being used in the field of learning disabilities and ADHD. LD Online, the educators’ guide to learning disabilities, includes learning by repetition as one of the three key strategies to help memory: repetition, imagery, and patterns (RIP). They perhaps state it best: “Many students believe that just reading something is enough. Often, that is not sufficient. We remember something best when it is organized and rehearsed.:”
Learning by repetition is what Practice Power products are all about. The dry erase technology allows repeated use time after time engaging students in fun learning activities. As we always say…Practice Makes Perfect!