“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.” – Bill Gates

CEP 812: Human Memory as a Limitation to Solving Complex Problems

on July 8, 2014

In his book The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students through Digital Learning, James Paul Gee (2013) describes the many reasons why we, as humans, are often unable to solve complex problems. At the forefront of this explanation lies the limitations of the human memory. We fail to comprehend that memories are not carbon copies of experiences, and we make associations between events that may either help or hinder our recall of the truth. Our lack of understanding of our own memories is one of the problems with our educational system today. We ask students to memorize and regurgitate, instead of asking them to do what our memories are actually good at: interpreting the world. In my paper for CEP 812 found here, I further explain the limitations of human memory, and I then argue how a shift in the structure of our educational system would yield positive results.


Gee, J. P. (2013). The anti-education era: Creating smarter students through digital

      learning. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.


One response to “CEP 812: Human Memory as a Limitation to Solving Complex Problems

  1. buffach1 says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I enjoyed reading your paper on the human memory and it’s limitations to solving complex problems. And, I liked how your blog post was a good introduction that leads into your paper; You didn’t give away too much information but you kept the reader interested in learning more in your paper. You made one point in your paper that really resonated with me: That the projects you give are more valuable then any test. Yes I agree that giving students information to memorize and regurgitate back on a test is not really learning but I do believe that it is still a skill students should learn (memorizing and application practice/ skill) however, what if what’s missing in education is more project based learning? What if students need to get their hands messy, learn by interacting with one another, their tools, the concepts being taught, a mentor on hand, and research? You may be onto something with your idea that the project on spending a million dollars is more valuable then any test! My theater students do the best when they are given a project they must work on and prepare for in groups, then any test I give. They learn by working together and bouncing ideas back and forth in writing scripts, planning staging, etc. In today’s society, I believe more students enjoy projects to learn rather then memorization for a test anyways!

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