Study Guide for Teachers and Students about Remembering  


Remembering can be said as the process of showing in the present responses some aspects of earlier learned responses. Since learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior over a period of time not due to physical change or maturation, retention of learned material is implied. Remembering is a way of showing that one retains what was learned. Remembering is central to learning. Remembering has the ability to recall information stored in the memory. It is the present knowledge of a past experience. Remembering can occur in several ways:

Recognition: This type of remembering is the ability to recognize something or someone as familiar. For example, among several tunes of music, a student who recognizes a familiar tune will be said to remember the music he had been taught before.

Recall: This brings back to mind information that had earlier been learned. If an individual cannot recall earlier learned information it means he has forgotten the material. For example, if students were asked to recall the seven characteristics of living things, to show that they remember all the materials learned, they should be able to list all the seven characteristics through recall.

Recollection: Another way of remembering is to recollect or re-establish an event and the circumstances surrounding it. It may be a pleasant or unpleasant experience. It is the process by which an individual remembers an event or experience through some cues. In order to recollect, there will be a need for the reconstruction and reorganization of past experiences.

Relearning: Relearning is another kind of remembering in which the individual is made to learn what has been learned already, but is forgotten due to some injuries, interference, or disturbance. When the individual is given the opportunity to reacquire skills already before but lost, learning this second time will be faster and easier than the first learning because the materials are familiar to the individual.

Factors aiding remembering

There are factors that help the ways in which students remember things. The following are the factors.

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Constant Practice

The amount of practice a learner puts into the materials being learned is an important aspect of promoting remembering. Teachers should encourage constant practice in order to ensure that learning experiences are permanently stored and remembering made easy. Hence, the importance of the role of revision ensures good remembering. It is true that practice makes perfect. The way you practice, the way you get familiar with the materials and memorize them.

Use of Mnemonics

The use of codes or symbols otherwise known as Mnemonics can promote remembering. Mnemonics are key letters that can help in remembering the whole body of the materials learned, e.g. BODMAS is a formula used for solving problems of fractions in Mathematics. Also, certain abbreviations or abbreviated letters or words representing certain terms can be applied to aid the memory of complicated unrelated lists of operations or concepts.


The learner’s interests and values also constitute an important component in promoting remembering. Interest can serve as a motivator for attending thus enhancing remembering. If teachers can encourage students to develop an interest in a subject, their capacity to remember will be enhanced. When materials to be taught or used are of interest to students, they will easily remember them. For example, if the student does not have an interest in science subjects, such a student will not know the subjects. Also, if the student does not show interest in a teacher, it is not likely to know his/her subject. These will affect remembering.

Use of Instructional Materials

The use of instructional materials is another factor aiding remembering. Teachers must use instructional materials to make lessons interesting. When the materials to be used are in sequence and are divided into pieces or units memory will be enhanced. Also, the relevance of the instructional materials is very important. There are different types of instructional material to use to make lessons real and livelily, such as charts, pictures concrete, and real. For example, an English teacher who wants to teach a JSS One student a “Preposition” can bring a desk in front of the class and place a book on it. Then ask a student to tell the class where the book is. The student will voluntarily define the preposition “on”.

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Spaced Learning

Spaced learning tends to enhance students understanding thereby promoting remembering. The teachers should therefore avoid mass and congested learning and observe the simple to complex. A conducive environment is very important. If there is no ventilation in the classroom, it will affect understanding. And what you understand is what you will remember.

Meaningfulness of Learned Materials and Association of Topics

If the material to be learned is meaningful, students will quickly remember them, and will last longer in their memory. Also, when there is a close association between the facts in the topics taught, memory is enhanced. When the items are closely related to or are strikingly different from the familiar items students can easily remember them.

Intellectual Ability of the Learners

The more intelligent learner has little problems in retailing the materials learned. Also, the teachers should use tests and exercises to make students alert as well as revise notes. There are three categories of students in the classroom: below average, average, and above average. There is no doubt that above-average students will learn better in the classroom and also quickly remember what he has been taught.

Recent and Frequency

Recent and frequent practice of the recall of material to be learned aids memory. Also, recitation of learned material aids memory and is better than reading. The teacher is expected to use the recent materials that retain to remember in the hearts of their students. The materials must be what is available always. For example, for the ages of 12 and 16 students, the book written in 1960 will be outdated for such students to remember. There are new and recent textbooks on the same textbooks you can use which the students can understand and remember easily.

Classroom Application

Since we are aware of the stages involved in memory namely, acquisition, storing or retention, and recall or recognition all efforts should be made by the teacher to ensure that classroom activities aid the learner in achieving those stages.

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Consider the content of the materials.

In this respect, the length of the information or material to be learned, and the content and nature of the materials can influence the retention of the students. The materials of similar nature should be broken into units so that students can work on them for longer periods. Time-tabling arrangements should take care of this. Also, the degree of initial learning and the interaction between successive learning materials should influence retention positively.

Consider the individual differences of the learners.

Also, individual differences of learners and the trend toward mixed-ability classes should make the teacher adapt both workload and the level of difficulty of the material to each individual student. This will help the pupils understand the materials to be learned and digest them accordingly. Furthermore, students will remember easily the materials that are visually stimulating, clear, and that are of interest to them.


In order to help students to remember what they learn, revision of the lessons should be done soon after the original learning. Also, the teachers should assist the student students to build up their confidence in themselves so as to lessen the fear of examinations. This is because fear at the time of recall causes students to forget what they have learned.

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