It’s been said that we forget more than 80% of what we learn in school and college. That raises the question, ‘Why bother? Is education really worth what we invest in it?’ It is. There are many valid reasons for learning, even if forgetting will take its usual toll. Here are five of the most important ones:
(1) The most important function of the learning process is the self-discipline and control that it fosters. Good students learn to follow directions, carry out assignments, and channel their mental faculties towards a constructive end. These are skills you’ll need in order to succeed in life.
(2) Even if the facts and concepts can’t be recalled, you know they exist and where to find them. So you can retrieve the information when you need it later on.
(3) Old learning makes new learning easier. Each mental exercise gives you more associative clues with which to link future ideas and concepts, and you’re changed for having been through the process of learning.
(4) Your brain is like the programming in your computer. You don’t really forget anything that is within the reach of your memory. The information is still stored in your brain and will return to consciousness when properly stimulated.
(5) You are shaped by the influence of the people who teach you. The Bible says, ‘The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge.’ (Proverbs 15:14 NKJV) Perhaps you wish that an easier process for shaping the human mind could be found, rather than the slow, painful experience of education. But until a ‘learning pill’ is developed, the old-fashioned approach will have to do.