Reader ‘s opinion Learning by heart is enriching

Doctor of Engineering Sanna Yliniemi (HS Opinion 22.11.) questioned the memorization of multiplication tables in school.

Indeed, the curriculum, as well as the study materials of all publishers familiar with it, are spirally included in grades 2-4. practicing multiplication tables so that multiplication and division are automated. Teachers help caregivers with many tips to practice children memorizing in multiplication tables. It may feel hard at home, but it rewards the student for the rest of his life.

I’ve been a teacher for 40 years, and I have not yet come across the results of the research, the basis of which the outside learning could be regarded as harmful and, therefore, creativity shut off.

In my own youth, older relatives recited poems and literary gems they learned by heart in several languages. They ended up in professions that required the widest possible range of creative thinking skills. Their wisdom shone through the civilization created by the school.

The current learning materials are built from basic tasks, applied tasks and problems that require problem solving. Not everyone will ever cope with the whole material. However, knowledge of multiplication tables provides a solid foundation for mathematical thinking and dealing with the numerical continuum. Guiding to problem solving is, of course, an important part of teaching.

Tuire Harjola

Master of Business Administration, Helsinki

Reader opinions are speeches written by HS readers, selected and delivered by HS editorial. You can leave a comment or read the principles of writing at


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