I tutor high school math students. Students often struggle with a problem they had completed few months prior. Like any skill, it's natural to forget what you learned after a while.

As high school instructors/teachers/tutors, how do you maximize retention of a skill and how to quickly get the student to recall/relearn what was forgotten? How often do you assess students' retention of previous topics outside of finals, eg if quadratics was introduced early in the semester, include a question requiring solving quadratics in the current unit assessment?

In many Asian and Eastern European countries, students drill through tons of (often similar) problems while in my experience this is not as emphasized in North America, where a stronger focus is on exploration. Do either muscle memory or understanding correlate with length and quality of retention?

I'm still new to this site. I try to phrase the same question in different ways.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ What's the best way to facilitate learning? That's the big question! I don't believe there is one answer for this, having worked with different and diverse populations, what works somewhere does not work everywhere. For me, however, I have found success (high school) with motivation and meta-cognitive strategies. Knowing when to continue drilling or explore comes down to proper assessment (and some intuition). Also depends on your goal. If they're preparing for a standardized test, I hate to say drilling tends to be effective. But hopefully there is more to education than those tests! $\endgroup$
    – Carser
    Feb 2, 2022 at 13:33


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.