Flashcards, the cornerstones for classrooms since the 19th century
Flashcards have been the gold standard tool for education since the 1800s, being able to see traces of them from classrooms to university lecture halls. During the cold war, underfunded schools in the US stated to utilize flash cards in order to ensure that students in the US are not falling behind their Soviet rivals. They are the trailblazers of educational development in that time period. The following reasons are why these these little treasure troves of knowledge are a testament to the dogma that there are different ways to assimilate knowledge.
1. The ability to learn sight words faster
Sight words are words that occur in high frequency. These words include words like "about, made, people, said", words that are common and have a variety of meaning. For children below the ages of 3, it may be hard to conceptualize, and thus flash cards can help them by embedding spellings of the words in to their memory, which are subsequently bonded with their pronunciations. By being able to memorize these words, children will be able to take them out contextual semantics and grasp basic understanding of such words at a very young age. Once a child is able to perceive and understand a majority of sight words, they will be able to read and comprehend coherent sentences without stopping and trying to decode each word.
For example, given the sentence "I do not like cabbages". A child that is already well-versed in recognizing sight words would no longer need to stop and decipher what do the words " I do not like" mean.
2. Non-native speakers learn English words more efficiently
Studies have shown that a child will learn to pronounce and spell new words at a more efficient manner when these words are used in isolation, compared to when used in a sentence. Quoting a study done by Dr Katharine Pace Miles of the United States Literacy Trust, "These findings show that each type of word reading experience strengthened a different aspect of word knowledge, either orthographic or syntactic/semantic, suggesting that there are costs and benefits of each flashcard word reading condition."
Flash cards are wonderfully adaptive in situations like these. Words can be spliced and separated for individual learning, and can be subsequently combined to form much more complex sentences and paragraphs.
3. Utilizing Flashcards in objective testing is far more proficient than any other method of studying
Now this is something that will really benefit children from ages 6-18. According to this study in the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, flashcards are a superior method of conceptualizing short-answer questions in situations where organizational diagrams are utilized to enhance cognitive thought processes.
Multiple choice questions will no longer be the bane of many students if flashcards were utilized. This allows students to cognitively separate and comprehend knowledge without being confused by the myriad of things to memorize.
Something special is brewing in our Me Books HQ as we decide to further delve into different methods to better equip your child with the right tools to learn. Tactile learning is something that we have been really stoked and interesting in for a long time now, and as content curators we have something mystical up our sleeves so please, stay tuned for more!
Chelsea Lin, Mark A. McDaniel, Toshiya Miyatsu, "Effects of Flashcards on Learning Authentic Materials: The Role of Detailed Versus Conceptual Flashcards and Individual Differences in Structure-Building Ability", Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, Volume 7, Issue 4, 2018, Pages 529-539, ISSN 2211-3681
Katharine Pace Miles, Linnea C. Ehri, "Learning to Read Words on Flashcards: Effects of Sentence Contexts and Word Class in Native and Nonnative English-Speaking Kindergartners, Early Childhood Research Quarterly", Volume 41, 2017, Pages 103-113, ISSN 0885-2006
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