Perhaps the most boring and trying task
in traditional education is memorizing definitions for
terminology that is introduced in a new reading
assignment. The online ancillaries provided with many of
today's textbooks include flashcards that are intended
to provide some direction to the memorization process.
The problem with this perspective on terminology is that
little actual learning takes place, and the definitions
of most of the terms are forgotten shortly after the
quizzes and exams are completed.
At Free-Ed.Net, lists of terms and
definitions are viewed as starting points for learning
opportunities (and not as items to be simply memorized
for upcoming exams). Here is an example of a couple of
terms and definitions from a sociology textbook:
A term coined by Robert N. Butler
to refer to prejudice and discrimination
against the elderly.
The most technologically advanced form of
preindustrial society. Members are primarily
engaged in the production of food but
increase their crop yield through such
innovations as the plow.
Rather than regarding those glossary
items as something to be memorized, try considering them
as starting points for your own research. Ageism. Okay,
that's about prejudice against the elderly. But who in
the world is Robert N. Butler that his name should be
included here? By the time you spend a half hour doing
some Internet research for ageism and Robert
N. Butler, you will come away knowing more about the
subject than students who are locked into a
classroom routine. And what about Agrarian society?
If you have any real interest in the subject, your first
Internet searches will be only the beginning of an
adventure of undetermined extent.