A significant part of the commentary on the outcomes of schooling suggests that ‘learning by rote’ should have no place in contemporary teaching. There is a widely held view that rote learning is an historical hangover in teaching and learning. Learning by repetitive confrontation with factual material is seen as a waste of brain capacity at a time when computer-based information services better serve one’s information needs. This fails to recognise that some things must be learned and mastered and be available for immediate application, particularly those facts and experiences that form the foundation for the development of concepts and theory and of more sophisticated understandings.

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