It is no question that repetition is a fundamental of learning. As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect”. Repetition learning in education can be traced as far back to ancient Egypt 4,400 B.C., with similar accounts from ancient China and Greece. Aristotle himself remarked that “It is frequent repetition that produces a natural tendency. The more frequently two things are experienced together, the more likely it will be that the experience of recall of one will stimulate the recall of the other.” 1
Particularly in childhood, repetition plays an important role in complex sequence learning due to its effects on perceptive and cognitive development. Children learn constraints specific to the stimuli they are repeatedly exposed to.2 Through the influence of such strategies on memory paired with consistent practice, children develop skills pivotal in student success.3
Moreover, there is an abundance of research that supports the positive effects of repetition learning on student performance.2 One study conducted in 2015 investigated the influence of repetition with variation in students’ achievement scores, conceptual understanding, and retention. Tests were administered to two classes of 10th Grade students, which involved different types of questions on the same concept. The results of the study showed that repetition with variation can enrich learning, deepen understanding, enhance memory, and increase recall.4
An earlier experiment performed in 2008 explored the benefits of consistent practice for retrieval in memory amongst college students, which found that retention is not determined by learning speed, but rather the practice entailed.5
That said, consistent practice does not only ensure that students absorb and retain information, but as Dr. Elliot Ludvig of the University of Warwick’s Department of Psychology states, repetition learning can ultimately lead to the formation of good habits.6
Repetition Learning, Good Habits and Smartick
As repetition learning is an essential part of the Smartick method, students increase mental agility, strengthen concentration, and develop good study habits through the consistent completion of the 15-minute daily sessions. So although the repetitive element of Smartick may be tedious at times, students must work hard and persevere in order to achieve long lasting results.
As Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”
- Weibell, C. J. “Principles of Learning.” Principles of Learning. https://principlesoflearning.wordpress.com/.
- Monaghan, Padraic, and Chris Rowson. “The Effect of Repetition and Similarity on Sequence Learning.” Memory & Cognition 36, no. 8 (2008): 1509-1514. doi:doi:10.3758/MC.36.8.1509.
- Ofen-Noy, N., Y. Dudai, and A. Karni. “Skill Learning in Mirror Reading: How Repetition Determines Acquisition.” Cognitive Brain Research 17 (2003): 507-21. doi:doi:10.1016 / S0926-6410(03)00166-6.
- Lomibao, Laila S., and Santos O. Ombay. “Does Repetition with Variation Improve Students’ Mathematics Conceptual Understanding and Retention?” International Journal of Science and Research 6, no. 6 (June 2017): 2319-7064. doi:DOI:10.21275/ART20174479.
- Karpicke, Jeffrey D., and Henry L. Roediger, III. “The Critical Importance of Retrieval for Learning.” Science 319 (2008): 966-68. doi:DOI: 10.1126/science.1152408.
- University of Warwick. “Train the brain to form good habits through repetition.” ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190128105227.htm.
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