The forgetting curve

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Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve was postulated in the late 19th century by the German Psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus. He tested his memory to see when he started to forget things he has learned. After he gathered his data, he identified the factors that contributed to the learning decline: Strength of the memory. We remember more when the activity has meaning and purpose. Time. We forget things rather quickly without practicing or using what we learned. How does the pertain to education? We should be looking at ways of not only making the content interesting and purposeful for our students, we need to also work in time to practice and revisit older information. The latter is not a surprise to the teachers out there, but it is hard to do with the amount of content that must be covered in the classroom.

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