Learning is a complex process that involves different strategies and stages. As a key approach of learning, memorization of information by repetition contributes to the overall effectiveness of an education system. But we should also admit that rote learning has a number of limitations.
Learning by repetition is an effective strategy in learning. For example, Chinese people believe that one will get the gist of a book after reading it for a hundred times. Researchers have found that rote learning is particularly useful for young learners. When teaching children how to use a computer, instructors show them over and over again until they can perform tasks correctly. Moreover, for certain kinds of learning at early stage, the understanding involved is often minimal. Naturally rote learning assumes an important role.
However, we need to bear in mind that meaningful learning is more essential for our education system. When students grow older and enter higher grades, the scope and depth of their learning grow. Surely rote learning can help students learn knowledge by heart but it could do little to improve their analyzing ability and creativity. There has been strong criticism that some schools overemphasize the importance of memorization of knowledge and produce students with great weaknesses in applying knowledge in practice. Solution for such problem could be that schools and students put in more effort into meaningful learning.
To conclude, learning is a complex progress and students employ different strategies at various stages. Rote learning is important in education system, but meaningful learning is more critical for students in obtaining advanced ability and skills.