I was visiting with a local Verizon telephone support person yesterday (we were both chaperones on a middle school field trip). She made an interesting comment about her job.
When someone calls with a question about his/her cell phone operations, the person providing support is expected to use a database to get the correct answer. If the support person does not go to the database but relies on memory instead, the choice will result in a negative performance evaluation. Things change so quickly in the field that not checking for the most recent "fix" is irresponsible.
Verizon then uses a system that rewards good interpersonal skills and the ability to find and use information- a system in which a good memory is not only unnecessary but possibly a liability.
The ability to memorize has always been a critical skill for success in traditional education. (Memorize the capitols of all the countries in Central America, the quadratic equation, today's Spanish vocabulary words, the three branches of government, the dates of World War II ... )
Are we rewarding an obsolete skill set when we give top grades to those with good memories? After all, wouldn't you want your physician, car mechanic, airline pilot, etc. checking for updates rather than relying on a good memory?
Painting - Dali's "Persistence Of Memory"