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In a message dated 10/12/2000 8:54:37 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:

>  Just today another statistics instructor
>  and I were talking about helping students remember procedures, and the idea
>  came up that if a student understands the logic or purpose, they don't have
>  to work nearly as hard to memorize because the procedure will make sense to
>  them.  That is what I like to emphasize at all levels of math.
>

Absolutely.  But I also like to emphasize to students that they each work
from a different learning style that will include some combination of
memorization and understanding.  Some students need to work throught the
steps first, before they can even begin to understand the purpose, and some
students find it almost impossible to start a problem before they understand
the overall logic.  That's what is so wonderful about tutoring vs. teaching.
When I tutor, I can tell within a couple of minutes which approach to take
with that student, but in class  I need to continually move back and forth
between addressing the memorizable (is that a word?) steps, and the overall
concept. For some students it is the process of looking at the concept from
both sides that finally makes it click.

Ellen Knapp