Rote vs. long term memory

Watch Judy Willis, MD, MEd's video on Rote vs. long term memory...
Rote vs. long term memory | Kids in the House
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

Rote vs. long term memory

As you see children come home with lists of things to memorize and are accountable for things to know for a test, rather than ideas. The things they have to memorize, those isolated bits of information, they are only going to remember for a test; those are rote memories. The neuroplasticity, the connections they form with use, the memories aren't preserved because they are not used. The expression, "use it or lose it," is true, because the rote memory will be pruned away. If a brain doesn't use a circuit, it actively deteriorates the circuit. The brain is really needy. It only weighs three pounds and uses 20 percent of the oxygen the body gets. Rote memories are not used, have to be pruned away, and are not used. Long-term memories, connections are made, and they are sustained. They are not pruned away because we have done something to help kids to connect new learning with something they already have in their brain.

Watch Judy Willis, MD, MEd's video on Rote vs. long term memory...


Expert Bio

More from Expert

Judy Willis, MD, MEd


After graduating Phi Beta Kappa as the first woman graduate from Williams College, Judy Willis attended UCLA School of Medicine where she was awarded her medical degree. She remained at UCLA and completed a medical residency and neurology residency, including chief residency. She practiced neurology for 15 years before returning to university to obtain her teaching credential and master's of education from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She then taught in elementary and middle school for 10 years.

Dr. Judy Willis is an authority on brain research and its applications regarding learning. With the unique background as a parent, neurologist, classroom teacher, and neuro-educator she writes extensively for parenting magazines and professional educational journals. Dr. Willis has written six books for parents and educators about applying brain research to parenting and teaching.

Dr. Willis is on the adjunct faculty of the Graduate School of Education, University of California and gives presentations to parents and educators nationally and internationally about how to help children learn joyfully and successfully. She is on the Board of Directors of the Hawn Foundation, dedicated to helping children improve academic performance and acquire vital social and emotional skills. In 2011, she was honored by Edutopia, as a “Big Thinker on Education”.

More Parenting Videos from Judy Willis, MD, MEd >
Enter your email to
download & subscribe
to our newsletter