What's the right word to indicate a type of education based on memorizing facts or a superficial understanding of things, without real insight or critical mind development?

In my native language (Italian) we have expressions like "nozionismo" or "educazione nozionistica" or "didattica nozionistica". But, after I looked in the dictionary, it seems to me that the word "notion" in this case is a "false friend". In fact, "nozione" seems different from "notion", which is rather like an opinion.

  • For a model that puts such cognitive-domain objectives firmly in their place (as being elementary and insufficient, though still very necessary), see the article on Bloom's Taxonomy (daft name) at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom's_Taxonomy . Mar 1, 2013 at 0:02
  • Learning by heart, drill.
    – rogermue
    Jun 3, 2015 at 11:59

3 Answers 3


The English word for the kind of education you describe is "rote" learning.

  • 1
    Also "indoctrination, re-education," and "treatment", among other euphemisms. Feb 28, 2013 at 15:47

"Drill and Kill" teaching method . For reference , check this http://www.nychold.com/hirsch-termin.html#drill


It does not cover the full semantics of "nozionismo" but could mechanical learning be an alternative? (I'm just intuitively suggesting it as I'm not an English native speaker, please correct me if I am wrong)

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