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Comment Re:higher expectations? (Score 1) 534

Unfortunately this can do more to damage your learning than improve it.

I had a mathematics teacher last year who was quite strict, not that it bothered me too much, her teaching style is her prerogative, however she was an intense fan of the repetition-makes-perfect strategy. I agree, it works, I can do several questions, more if they're complex and I need more practice before I can conclude them in an instant, however she killed maths for me.

Tens to even a hundred simple, repetitive questions with no challenge, none at all. Yet they "needed to be done". It bored me so immensely that I'd do the questions, yes, but after three I would switch off, my mind would go blank at such a chore. I lost all the fun, all the interest in maths I once had. I hated maths, I hated what I once used very often in my free time. Much like a fan of food being forced to eat a thousand sour crackers every day, that person would not eat a gateau later. It didn't enter my brain, I did the exercise, then lost the knowledge completely, there was no love left to keep it there.

So what happened? I flunked maths that year. Essentially I had to relearn the entire course this year in private to resit the examinations and I did amazingly better, because I have a far, far more relaxed teacher. So once demonstrated that I'm able to do something, I can return to pondering about whatever it is that's interesting me that day, which may even be some form of advanced mathematics.

Repetition helps those who would not otherwise learn. Those with a passion for the subject will just get sick of it, and maths itself.


To those who say it helps memorise outcomes, that may be true for your "times table" but you're unlikely to encounter such simplicities at a certain level of, for example, advanced trigonometric mechanical integration. Sure you could memorise the outcome of likely answers, but that would be a complete waste of time in every respect. The method is far more important.)

The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.