Another dot in the blogosphere?

Reimagined memories

Posted on: June 26, 2021

The latest Build For Tomorrow podcast episode explored how nostalgia might colour our collective memories of the current pandemic.

The podcast host explained how some of us already look back fondly at behavioural changes during lockdown and loathe to return to “normal”, e.g., not commuting to work, spending more time with family. 

He then explored why we might remember the good things about bad events and forget (or play down) what made them terrible. By interviewing experts on memory and cognition, the host explained that our memories do not operate like a film reel played back with original fidelity. Our minds simply do not and cannot capture every thing. 

Our memories are like fragments of an experience and we fill in the blanks with our imagination. We do this every time we try to remember something and relate that memory to someone else. The experts also explained how remembering the positive might be a coping, survival, or learning mechanism. 

It was fascinating to realise how little we know about memory. We work more on assumption of how we remember rather than on established fact because the latter is barely there. This podcast episode could challenge the assumptions of anyone who teaches, counsels, or records witness accounts.

As an educator, our fragmented recall strategy reminds me of why it is important to challenge learners to discuss ideas and teach one another. What one remembers is not the same as another learner’s, and peer teaching is a way for small groups of students to triangulate what they learn.

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