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The fundamental things apply... as time goes by: Students' long-term memories from an ecology field excursion
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences. (TekNaD/ FontD)
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. (TekNaD/ FontD)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6859-1420
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to investigate and analyse what biology students remembered a long time after being out on an ecology excursion. The students’ memories were tested during a stimulated recall interview and analysed using the dual memory system model of learning.

Already after 6 months we found that the students had forgotten a lot of the scientific content. Very often they showed a familiarity (recognition) with the situations and objects showed to them but they were unable to identify (recall) and label them. However they did remember some spectacular moment, the sudden appearance of a fox and a moose. They did also remember things and situations when they were active themselves, digging, smelling, using their hands or their feet’s in the difficult balancing and walking on a pet bog. From literature we identified two different types of memories, depending of the question asked: recall and recognition. We connected memories used in recall to the explicit memory system (declarative knowledge), and memories used in recognition to the implicit memory system (tacit knowledge). The Explicit memory has a short retention but the implicit system is very stable and this will explain the difference in recall and recognition abilities. Since the implicit memory incorporates emotional, somatic, markers we were able to explain the specific flashbulb memories. The implicit system is active when we are doing things, using our senses and this may explain why those memories still were strong even after a full year. The strong memories of patterns stored in the implicit system seemed to act as indices to the declarable labels and facts in the explicit system. Implications for research, education and type of assessment are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Tacit knowing, recall, biology, memory
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-102272OAI: diva2:675848
ESERA, 2-7 September 2013, Nicosia, Cyprus
Available from: 2013-12-04 Created: 2013-12-04 Last updated: 2016-08-31Bibliographically approved

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Björklund, LarsStolpe, Karin
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