- Jul 2022
Nicolas, I broadly agree with you that many of these factors of reading and writing for understanding and retention are at play and the research in memory and spaced repetition underlines a lot of this. However in practice, one needs to be revisiting and actively using their notes for some particular project to remember them better. The card search may help to create both visual and physical paths that assist in memory too.
Reliance solely on a physical zettelkasten however may not be enough without active use over time, particularly for the majority of users. It's unlikely that all or even many may undertake this long term practice. Saying that this is either the "best", "optimum", or "only" way would be disingenuous to the diversity of learners and thinkers.
Those who want to add additional strength to these effects might also use mnemonic methods from indigenous cultures that rely on primary orality. These could include color, images, doodles (drolleries anyone?), or other associative methods, many of which could be easily built into an (antinet) zettelkasten. Lynne Kelly's work in this area can be highly illuminating. For pure practical application and diversity of potential methods, I recommend her book Memory Craft https://amzn.to/3zdqqGp, but she's got much more academic and in depth work that is highly illustrative.
With this background on orality and memory in mind we might all broadly view wood and stone circles (Stonehenge), menhir, standing stones, songlines, and other mnemonic devices in the archaeological and sociological records as zettelkasten which one keeps entirely in their memory rather than writing them down. We might also consider, based on this and the historical record concerning Druids and their association with trees that the trees served a zettelkasten-like function for those ancient societies. This continues to extend to lots of other cultural and societal practices throughout history. Knowledge from Duane Hamacher et al's book The First Astronomers and Karlie Noone and Krystal De Napoli's Astronomy: Sky Country will underline these theories and practices in modern indigenous settings.
- Jun 2022
Christine Moskell talks about a professor's final exam design prompting students to go back to annotations and add new commentary (or links to other related knowledge) that they've gained during the length of a course.
This is very similar to the sort of sensemaking and interlinking of information that Sönke Ahrens outlines in his book How to Take Smart Notes though his broader note taking thesis goes a few additional steps for more broadly synthesizing ideas into longer papers, articles, theses, and books.
Dr. Moskell also outlined a similar tactic at the [[Hypothesis Social Learning Summit - Spotlight on Social Reading & Social Annotation]] earlier today, though that video may not be accessible for a bit.
How can we better center and model these educational practices in our pedagogies?