A guest post by Ben Harrison
Developer of Big Brainz math-fact fluency software
Imagine Learning now publishes monthly guest posts in order to stimulate conversations about K12 education across the country. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual author(s) and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning.
The following article was originally posted in February, 2015 on the Big Brainz Blog.
Every once in a while I encounter a savvy educator who is opposed to memorizing math facts--or at least he or she appears to be.
Just today I saw a fearful article that exclaimed "memorization can inhibit fluency" and "memorization . . . can be damaging."
Of course, educators are doing a wonderful job of championing number sense, comprehension, and problem-solving, but by attacking the vital skill of automaticity, they unwittingly undermine the very processes they intend to champion.
From Where I Sit
Before I go any further, let me jump to the punchline, because I know that if you're one of these educators, you're already getting ready to give me your very passionate point of view.
So . . . if, as an educator, you have a negativity towards memorization, I would suggest that it's because you haven't seen it done well.