Slaying the Cram-Pass-Forget Dragon
This talk was given by John D. Mays at the 2014 Society for Classical Learning Conference in Austin, TX, June of 2014.
The norm for classes in contemporary schools is the Cram–Pass–Forget cycle. Students cram for tests, pass them, and then forget most of what they crammed in just a few weeks. Teachers across the nation know what this looks like because they see it day after day. This cycle is a waste of time for teachers and students. Instead of cramming and forgetting students should learn, master, and retain what they have learned. Realizing this in the classroom requires both the teacher and the students to make significant changes in the ways they approach the tasks of teaching, testing, practicing, and studying. Methods that promote the Cram–Pass–Forget cycle must be eliminated through pedagogy based on more effective methods and a more sensible classroom dynamic.