Reading Stevick 3 of 10


Don’t we all like a good metaphor? Stevick can come up with quite a few. For example, to explain how short-term and long-term memory works, he uses the image of stencils lying on a small worktable (this is short-term memory). As new stencils are added, the older ones fall off the table on the floor. So, if you need to keep any of them for a bit longer, you need to attach them to the wall, for example, by rubbing them so that they are charged with static electricity (this is a metaphor for long-term memory). But if we keep charging them, they will stay for longer. However, if we want to hold them on the wall forever, we need to spray them with paint before they fall off. However, paint will keep just fragments and images of them, which is how our permanent memory actually works.

Sounds like a very useful way to teach students how to learn, do you agree?

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