Sunday, February 10, 2019

Headmaster Letter

Communicating neurons

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

"Memorizing facts and lists can build the foundations for higher thinking and problem solving," writes psychology teacher Marc Smith in an article from The Guardian.  Just as we saw in last week's headmaster letter, modern science confirms what the classical tradition has been teaching for centuries.  During the first century B.C., in fact, Cicero wrote a treatise on rhetoric titled De Oratore, in which he lauds the construction of mental memory palaces as an effective learning technique.  This was, indeed, a technique that thousands upon thousands of students--from Aristotle to Shakespeare--received during their schooling. 

As we move into the latter half of the third quarter, and as your student is studying for quizzes or exams, let's remember that the initial step toward wisdom is memorizing basic facts, definitions, and paradigms.  This is an insight about learning that both the classical tradition and modern science affirms to be true.

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold