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Instruction for the Long Term Memory

Updated on April 16, 2016

Long Term and Short Term

Teaching to the Long Term Memory

Synopsis: Due to memorization for testing purposes, the process of Long Term Thinking has been substituted by Short Term Thinking. As research suggests, due to competition with technology and other stimulating factors such as pleasure, the long term memory has fallen out of love with learning concepts, ideas and variables. How can the new acronym “Learning” attract long term thinking and have a relationship for more than one day with the Long Term Memory? Some people will continue to point the finger at state testing for causing our long term memory to divorce learning. The purpose of this article is to provide readers, educators and officials with information on how to attract long term thinking. It is very important that as a society we maintain information that is conducive to academic and life successes. During this brief outline of one of my most successful workshops, I would like to introduce everyone to the concept I call, “Learning!” In this online demonstration, readers take a brief glimpse in their minds at a past workshop and what to expect at the upcoming workshops. Within this article we are going to take out the old and usher in the new way of learning.

I know that some readers are thinking that this article is a love story about a single variable called Long Term memory that is just not attracted to learning and understanding anymore. If you guessed that this is a story about the mind and learning, you are on the correct street. Society has become a rote memorization society in that one learns the Scientific Method to figure out a hypothesis, one uses strategies to get as close as possible to the correct answer and lastly, one memorizes a beautiful poem just to pass English. How can educators, trainers and others catch the eye and attract long term thinking?

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to sit with many educators from all over the states and discuss concepts concerning ESL learners. For purposes of this article, ESL learners are identified as any learner who speaks English as a second language. As we constructed our own learning guides for conferences that will be used to make presentations according to our research and discussions, I asked each participant, “How can we make English attracting?” With raised eyebrows, I thought about the English language and it appeared to be attractive just the way I see it on a daily basis. English is attractive to me for several reasons but mostly because English is the very first language I learned. As the group began the discussion and continued to share various ways to inspire and motive students to learn the English language, I found that responders (presenters/teachers) could dress up English and make it appealing to those who were adapted to another language first. During a segment of the presentation, I asked the group to identify different verbs, nouns or subjects that would make English attractive. Within this particular activity, the participant could not mention French or say anything negative about French that would cause the Long Term Memory to second guess the bond for French. The room grew silent as educators and great philosophers thought of ways that English could become attractive to others. With the stillness of quiet, I then asked the question,” If you were selling English to a group of people who were in love with French, what would you say?” “How would you introduce yourself?” Many of the participants began the conversation by saying their first names and so forth. As I listened to each participant and allowed each to finish, I found my teachable moment. I reminded the participants that I wanted them to make English attractive and up unto this point, English was just the next subject trying to get me to study. I was not convinced that I should abandon or make French my 2nd choice. The room lit up and smiles were on each participant’s face as I said, “I am still in love with French.” I informed the participants that in class or during workshops we teach exactly the way instruction is suppose to be taught, but only a few are actually placing this information into the long term memory. We tell students or participants exactly what something is and expect for the Long Term memory to fall in love with the concept and never let it go. I demonstrated how English could become attractive and this is the short scenario that I will describe to you for informational purposes. I walked inside the presentation door and greeted the participants. I told each participant that I had a problem. With great big smiles the room was still silent as I did not know if the participants thought I had a real problem or if the participants thought they would be responsible for helping me solve the problem. Keeping the momentum in the session up, I quickly grabbed a piece of tissue and begin whipping my imaginary tears and said, “Its’ over.” The room was still quiet and no one said a word. The smiles on the participants face quickly turned into a coy smile as some participants did not know if to laugh or be serious. I informed the participants that my Long Term memory does not find English attractive. The participants looked and at this point I believe they really believed I had a problem. I said my long term memory is only in love with French because French was its first language and they have known one other for over 7 years. At this moment, I had captured the attention of everyone in the room, including the two participants who were checking phone messages. I said, “Do I have your attention now?” Each participant said, “Yes!” At this point I had the hardest part of my demonstration out of the way. I had captured the long term memory and somehow, the long term thinking was now engaged and interested in the word that I would introduce to participants a little later in the lesson. The way I proved to each participant that a person’s long term memory is capable of being attracted is by demonstrating the process of driving. I told participants that most wake up in the morning and drive to work without thinking. Why? The process of driving is stored in the long term memory. On the other hand, short term memory is attracted to the NOW, and will remember things and then have an expiration date especially if it was information for a test.

I said so now you have the problem which is, “The Long Term memory is in love with French and the new word on the block English is going to be introduced.” I asked each participant again, “How would you introduce English to a French loving population? As we discussed various scenarios, participants were suggesting that English has the top of the line words and that when going to restaurants, if you want to guarantee that you will receive the correct order, English is what you will want to have in addition to French. I looked as each participant while listening to their rationales and said, “I am still not convinced as to why I would leave my first love of French for English. As the workshop progressed, I introduced the participants into what I call “Learning!” The group looked at me and one person asked, “You are telling me that learning is what is needed to attract the long term memory. “ I said with bold confidence, “Yes.” In a few minutes, you will go through a process with me implementing what I coin as “Learning.” Learning is what the Long term memory loves and will marry.

Secondly, I want you to know that as we began to explore the rates of students across the world that were retained, dropped out or just not scoring well on test, we found that the old term, Learning is something that is defined as rote memorization. For the purposes of this article, Rote means redundant to the point that the short term memory remembers the information for at least 5 weeks or until the exam or demonstration or whichever comes first. The long term memory has no affiliation nor will it give any attention to rote memorization because the mind knows that the information or relationship is only for a while. I explained to each participant that the Long term memory seeks “Learning” because the concept is something that will remain even when the concepts get tough and process becomes rebellious. The mind knows that the concepts that I will roll out for you in just a minute are classy, intelligent and most people will understand the information and will not become frustrated. The mind loves stress, but good stress and the information presented is very simple when teaching concepts. Secondly, the long term memory knows that the value of the information can be used in daily life and in business and the investment is great. The question remains, “How can I attract my Long Term Memory?” Read carefully as I walk you through the concepts of my new LEARNING strategy:

Level-Raise the level of learning through prior experiences. Ex-While walking to the store did you notice the square around the store. While teaching (Do you remember that square that you saw at the store? In order to find the perimeter of that square in the store I want you to draw the square that you saw? Many people would content that they are already asking these type questions, but with the word level, students function on different levels and word choice may be more appropriate (Adding, space around)

External-What are some external factors that the student already possess that can help the student come up with the answer or make the correct choice? Ex-I am sure you have a tree at your house or have stood under a tree? What factors will that tree need to survive? Name the factors that you already know?

Aesthetic -This form of learning has been the premise of holistic learning in which students can personally identify. Ex-Do you remember 911? Ok, great and the teacher demonstrates what happened and maybe show a video. Now, if you were there that day, how would you feel? What are some ways in which this event affects the ozone? What do you think the temperature of the build was on 9/11 and why?

Resourceful Learning-How are you able to optimize learning? Are you utilizing all the resources that you have and then adding the resource of experience from the learner’s point of view?

Nourishment-What can the presenter do to enrich the lesson?

Integral=every good lesson always has a story whether it is math, reading, science and social studies. (In addition a good scenario in life is talk about cell phone minutes (Students, participants understand)

Nourishment-What else can enrich the lesson?

Gather-Gather as much data about the lesson (Questions, responses) and set a goal to ensure that we go back to the level response and connect to formulate the AHA moment.

In conclusion, I find that there are not many “AHA” moments as a student or adult learner. In order to fully allow the Long Term Memory to become attracted to “LEARNING,” it is important to understand the concepts under each letter (LEARNING). I invite you to attend one of the presentations relating to teaching to the Long Term Memory. In my current research, I find that we are teaching to the Short Term Memory and some are not able to retain information. Please include this presentation in your workshops as we have to ensure that all students and participants obtain the opportunity to store needed information in the Long Term Memory. As it stands, the Long Term memory has about 50% of what we need and the short term memory is overflowing because information is constantly being taken in and poured out. We want to retain information, restore learning and renew synapses of the brain. If you are with me in the call to action to store more information in the Long Term Memory and make teaching and leading more valuable, let’s conduct workshops so that this information can be given.

If you would like to be on the show:

Dr. Alfreda Emonya Love

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    • Sam Shepards profile image

      Sam Shepards 

      2 years ago from Europe

      Thanks for the information. Could use a little more subheading to make everything more structured.


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