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  1. #1

    Default Learning by heart vs. Learning by route

    What is the difference between learning by heart and leaning by rote?

    Is it mostly our attitude or emotional response to the learning task?

    Are there consequences to the effectiveness of learning by heart vs. learning by route?

    If you are interested, the following NPR story is what prompted me to start this thread:
    http://www.npr.org/2013/05/02/180594...poems-by-heart
    Last edited by ygolo; 05-15-2013 at 11:21 PM.

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  2. #2
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    I would like to think of it as two roads.

    The learning by heart is one where you have to go on an adventure and feel which path is the correct. Learning by route is like a road with signs telling you were to go. You remember something that feels connected to you versus what doesn't feel as attached.

    Think of it this way. I had to recite as much of the Gettysburg Address to my class in the 5th grade (the more I can recite, the better the grade.) In 5th grade, I was able to recite almost all of it. These are the lines I can still remember after all these years.

    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation
    conceived in liberty
    and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war
    testing whether that nation
    or any nation
    so conceived and so dedicated
    can long endure.
    [There is a few lines I've skipped because I'd forgotten them]

    But
    in a larger sense
    we can not dedicate
    we can not consecrate
    we can not hallow
    this ground
    . (bold part is the most powerful for me)
    Everything else has come and go after all these years, but I would think most people are only familiar with four scores and seven years ago. (as it is a classic Abe Lincoln line)

    In another scenario, I had to study a test that was pure rote vocabulary definition, which I might add was also multiple choice test. How did that turn out? I cannot remember much of anything I went through for that test besides the pure agony of staying up all night for rote memorization.

    I would also think of it like this... across all cultures, there are many sayings and poems(particularly folk songs) that survive till this day. If we didn't have books or computers, they may have been long lost.

  3. #3
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    I see learning by heart as integrating into memory the things that have personal meaning to you. Because it personally means something to you, it's more likely to stay with you over a long term.

    Learning by rote is less likely to have personal meaning. You do it because you're told to or feel that you should. It's less effective because the things you're memorizing have less meaning or significance to you and you're less likely to retain the information.
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  4. #4
    morose bourgeoisie
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    I don't know how learning by heart is different from learning by rote.

    Aren't they the same thing?

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    Isn't learning by heart just memorization, while learning by route entails figuring something out for yourself?

    edit: wait, route or rote?

  6. #6
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by decrescendo View Post
    Isn't learning by heart just memorization, while learning by route entails figuring something out for yourself?

    edit: wait, route or rote?
    Quote Originally Posted by Stanton Moore View Post
    I don't know how learning by heart is different from learning by rote.

    Aren't they the same thing?
    @Such Irony got it right. At least how I would characterize heart from rote/route. It's subtle but makes a difference.

    The alphabet itself is already a route.
    Singing the alphabet with the jingle is like learning with heart.
    Saying the alphabet without the jingle, is like learning by route.
    Learning the alphabet is rote memorization.

    Lots of kids learn the alphabet with the jingle because it is easier to learn. It attaches the ABC/Twinkle-Twinkle jingle to the lyrics. So each time I start saying the alphabet, I end up doing this unconsciously (unless I point it out myself)
    ABCDEFG (this area means slight break)
    HIJKLMNOP
    QRS
    TUV
    WX
    YZ

    I also unconsciously have done this with my middle/high school, community college, and 4-year college ID cards. I say them in a specific way, and I remember it because I say those ID numbers in a specific way (that is altogether 24 numbers.) But why would I need my middle school, high school, and community college id cards anymore? Well, it is because of what I did that I am eternally stuck with them in my head

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    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    What is the difference between learning by heart and leaning by route?
    Learning by heart involves emotional experiences and what you learn through them. Learning by route usually starts with Mapquest and once you have driven the route, you remember it.

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  8. #8
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    In learning poetry by heart we learn to savour each word. We stop wondering, what does it mean?

    We stop being mean and allow each word to reach our toes before it reaches our mind.

    But we can't speak poetry until it is remembered, for poetry is emotion recollected in tranquillity.

  9. #9
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    But we can't speak poetry until it is remembered, for poetry is emotion recollected in tranquillity.
    Sometimes I really, really like you Victor
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    Learning by heart is learning something intricately and completely because you care about it or identify with it in some way.

    Learning by route is having things enforced upon you whether you like it or not, like remembering the jingle for a jewelry store.

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