Memorization is a good first step in mathematics

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Memorization is a good first step in mathematics

Domenico Rosa
http://medicinehatnews.com/commentary/letters-to-the-editor/2017/12/08/memorization-is-a-good-first-step-in-mathematics/

Memorization is a good first step in mathematics

By Letter to the Editor on December 8, 2017.

Re: "Personal experience says progressive education-- not regressive--is the best way to learn," Nov. 18

Did Peter Mueller go all the way through school without realizing the memorized portions of the subject are useful tools which, once learned, facilitate one's subsequent math operations? Standard items like times tables, measurements, theorems, basic arithmetic functions, and more express the discipline's immutable principles and save us from a lifetime of having to figure everything out repeatedly.

Other fields of memorization, such as the alphabet and it's sounds, the rules of grammar and the peculiarities of English spelling, once mastered, provide skills for a continuing language competency.

Unfortunately, in this electronic age, some of the above skills are being incompletely mastered. Witness the clerks who can't make change without a calculator, and the many language errors in printed materials.

These days our numeracy and our literacy could use some more work.

Charmaine Wood
Irvine, Alta.