Forgetting is the inability to retain and retrieve previously learned information. Scientific investigations go a long way to prove that human memory or aptitude for learning depreciates especially when one advances in age. This implies that at adolescent stage(school age), students are physically, psychologically and physiologically endowed to retain their class lessons in their memories for a long time. However, in the contemporary school system, the reverse has become the case.
The major causes of this forgetfulness from the psychology and physiology point of views can be summarized as follows.
1. Decay of memory traces: Learning creates traces in the brain and if such traces are not constantly activated, they tend to “decay” leading to forgetfulness. Likewise, if previously learnt lessons are not constantly activated revised by students the traces for such lessons can be lost temporarily or permanently in the brain.
2. Motivated forgetting: Any learning associated with unpleasant and painful experience can easily be forgotten. In other words, if a lesson is generally unexciting sequel to inadequate motivational skills as well as uncondusive learning atmosphere, such lesson can easily be forgotten
3. Interference forgetting: This may result from factors that interfer or inhibit things we want to remember. It could also be as a result of what happens before, during or after learning. Students are far more interested in drugs, alcohol, hooliganism, bullying, sexual immoralities etc. These nefarious activities either inhibit or interfer with learning which culminate into forgetting of class lessons
4. Encoding failure: For any information to be remembered, it must have been stored or encoded in the long memory of the brain. This process of storage is largely influenced by the amount of interest and attention paid by the concerned individual. Contrarily, a lot of our students forget their class lessons due to lack of interest and attention, hence, they experience encoding failure in their memories.
5. “Cue” – Dependent Forgetting: Learning of some concept are associated with ‘cue’ (slogans, formulas etc) and once such cues are lost Im the memory the lesson is automatically forgotten.
However, some strategies can be put in place to enhance retention and remembering of class lessons. Vital among them include:
1. Rehearsal of previous lessons regularly
2. memorizing key points of each lessons
3. Over learning in other words, practicing continuously
4. Teachings should be made exciting
5. Endeavour to reduce interference
6. Students should be very attentive in class