To understand means to focus on the content of a given subject (as against the
sensory—visual or auditory—form in which it is communicated), to isolate its
essentials, to establish its relationship to the previously known, and to
integrate it with the appropriate categories of other subjects. Integration is
the essential part of understanding.
The predominance of memorizing is proper only in the first few years of a
child’s education, while he is observing and gathering perceptual material.
From the time he reaches the conceptual level (i.e., from the time he learns to
speak), his education requires a progressively larger scale of understanding
and progressively smaller amounts of memorizing.