Memory matters (or why Homer Simpson is wrong)

Hymer, Barry (2022) Memory matters (or why Homer Simpson is wrong). Chessable Blog . (Unpublished)

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As regular Chessable users know, our MoveTrainer technology embraces the powerful processes of spaced repetition, and we have written about ways of using this system most effectively in previous science blog posts. But we haven’t yet written a post about the very concept of memory and its general role in cognition and learning. I’m delighted therefore that Dr Jon Tibke has distilled the science for us into a very readable and accessible blog post this month. It is a version of a three-post series first published by Therapist Learning. Jon is a learning scientist working across the educational and health sectors, who has a longstanding interest and expertise in the interface between the mind and behaviour, drawing especially on findings from neuroscience. There are a few core and wonderfully optimistic take-homes from Jon’s piece which hit the spot for me in my personal Chessable practice. One is that one’s memory capacity is close to infinite—even for we amateurs with limited time for practice and repetition. I needed reminding of this as I started working my way enthusiastically through GM Pepe Cuenca’s brilliant and comprehensive Chessable course on the Philidor. The course is vast and will take me some months to complete, and the disturbing thought occurred to me as I made my painstaking progress, ‘What if I can’t retain it all? Is there any point learning something which is going to need to be relearned all over again?’ Well, as Jon’s post reminds me, even my aged brain CAN retain it all, and the point of learning something is that the price of retention is eternal revisiting. That’s the genius of MoveTrainer, compared to my old narrative methods of learning openings from books: whereas once I finished a book I knew that I really needed to re-read it, of course I didn’t—my brain was more eager to explore novel material. It felt like an admission of failure that the lines I’d ‘learned’ had somehow evaporated. Chessable courses inhibit evaporation by building in constant active review. Of course this doesn’t mean that the learning is always easy – some of those infernal deceptively-similar-but-subtly-different Philidor Endgame lines (where White exchanges pawns on e5 and trades queens) can test the patience of Petrosian, and these are the moments where the Difficult Moves feature on PRO comes into its own.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Chessable Blog
Publisher: Chessable
Departments: Institute of Education > Non-Initial Teacher Education
Additional Information: Barry is Emeritus Professor of Psychology in Education at the University of Cumbria, England.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2023 11:07
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 13:15


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