"How I Rewired My Brain to Become Fluent in Math: Sorry, education reformers, it’s still memorization and repetition we need.
Lists of independent facts without a network of connections are hard to follow and harder to retain. The problem reminds me of trying to dig a deep, narrow hole in dry sand. As the hole goes down, the sides collapse and fill it back in. It is possible to dig a deep hole, but only if it stretches out to the sides.
I gave a graduation speech many years ago. When asked, “What is the biggest thing you learned after you left school and became a practicing engineer?” my response was that in school, when you have an exam, you at least know what subject you are taking the exam in. In real life, you don’t know if the solution of the day will come from math, physics, chemistry, or just as likely human behavior or the quality of product instructions.