Somewhere along the way, rote learning got a bad rap. Memorization (there, I said the M word) became anathema to learning. How this came to be, I am uncertain, but what I am certain is that this shift away from memorization has undermined the effectiveness of the teaching and learning process altering whole generations. Perhaps the misplaced angst against memorization has come from the notion that memorization is reserved for teachers as a teaching methodology.
The true nature of memorization, however, is not for the teachers at all, really. It is for the students. And it is the responsibility of teachers to teach students how to use it to help them in their educational career. (Ben Johnson at Edutopia)