I tutor at the science department's drop-in tutoring center at my university, and my supervisor seems worried about how students are learning things today. She says that she has noticed an increase in the number of students that don't really learn any material. They simply cram everything into short-term memory and dump it all after the test. Her field is chemistry, and she tells me about students who have to learn the same things over and over again. They don't know how to balance chemical equations even as far in as organic chemistry. She says that this was never a problem when she started teaching three decades ago, but has noticed a big trend towards cramming things into short-term memory in the past decade. I'm a nontraditional student who graduated high school 11 years ago, so I can't speak to how things are taught today. I hypothesized that high schools might be pushing that "learning style" for standardized testing and NCLB, but for now, I don't even know for sure if there actually IS an increase in students not putting things into long-term memory or understanding the concepts, or if she's just having false recollections of the "good old days." I ran this by a friend of mine who taught high school for two years, and she said that the standardized testing hypothesis is plausible. Have any instructors here noticed a similar increase in rote memorization and a decrease in actual understanding? Have any high school teachers noticed either themselves for their colleagues promoting rote memorization as a learning style more than the past? Before I go around blaming No Child Left Behind, I'd like to figure out if there IS actually an increase in rote memorization in short-term memory in students at the expense of long-term knowledge, or if it's the same as it's always been.