learn by rote

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learn by rote

To use repetition to memorize something, as opposed to acquiring a full or robust comprehension of it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "learn" and "by." Learning by rote has been proven by many studies to be nearly useless in the long-term retention of information. There are so many characters in the Japanese alphabets that I have to learn them by rote.
See also: by, learn, rote
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

learn something by rote

Fig. to learn something by memorizing without giving any thought to what is being learned. I learned history by rote; then I couldn't pass the test that required me to think. If you learn things by rote, you'll never understand them.
See also: by, learn, rote
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
Wylie had learnt by rote that the whole duty of a lady is to be graceful, charitable, helpful, modest, and disinterested whilst awaiting passively whatever lot these virtues may induce.
Without research teaching without critical and analytical thinking becomes recall of factual memory learnt by rote. The critical and analytical thinking ability, power of imagination and the originality in teaching can only be inculcated by research activities.
Then, success was based on the cramming of knowledge learnt by rote and being in the right temperament on the day.
Also the removal from the curriculum of science and other lessons that we as kids knew well, having learnt by rote, tables, verbs and the periodic table, then blown each other up as we made home made fireworks and custard ice cream with snow and salt.
At this tender age, he is a veritable encyclopedia having learnt by rote all kinds of random information about 213 countries across the world.
There was no drug abuse, class sizes were as small as 20 and children learnt by rote from the national curriculum.