Learning is not just about remembering, it’s about making sense of something
LEARNING IS ABOUT MAKING SENSE
What is chunking???
CHUNKING IS WORKING MEMORY
Working memory is similar to RAM (random access memory) in computers.
The greater the RAM the more powerful the computer
The greater the RAM the more applications a computer can run
Similarly most people have the ability to store seven separate items in ‘working memory’
On the next slide, seven numbers will appear
Stare at the numbers for 15 seconds and try to memorize them as best you can
Don’t write them down, just try to remember them!
Now write down what you just saw!
Now check it with the number below
Did you get it right?
Now we’ll try one that’s a little harder!
Memorise the number below
How did you do? Did you get it right?
If so, good! If not, that’s ok. Many people can’t remember ten different items with just their working memory.
Now try remembering the number below
417 483 591 845
DID YOU CHUNK?
Now write it down
Did you get it right this time?
Was it any easier to remember?
If your answer is yes can you identify why that might be?
If you think of the numbers as three groups instead of ten individual numbers, it can be easier to remember!
This is called CHUNKING!!
When teaching, it’s important to group things in such a way so you don’t overwhelm minds with too many pieces to work with at once.
So what is chunking?
Chunking is the appreciation that when learning masses of information we don’t need to remember all the pieces just the pattern
Once the pattern is identified it allows us to go to our permanent memory to look up the constituent parts of such patterns
It helps to concentrate on the pattern and reason with it in order so the relations between the constituent parts become second nature
It’s the same process which are used when assembling a jigsaw puzzle. We each look for a pattern in order to build the picture
In teaching knowledge can be delivered in way which isn’t functional
Many text books provide knowledge and the principles behind such knowledge without actually connecting the pieces of such knowledge together
As teachers we can provide the jigsaw pieces sometimes several pieces at once without ever providing the means of assembling chunks of knowledge. There were no lugs to allow the chunks to be assembled together. It’s the ability reason which allows the pieces to be assembled together