Maybe you didn’t understand what kind of memorizing I was talking about. Let’s take analytical chemistry for an example. There is a chapter for determining inorganic ions. In this chapter, some 30 or more inorganic ions are covered. For each of these ions, there are several methods for determining them. For each of these methods there are several chemical equations that describe them. That’s at least 100 chemical equations total. Each of these equations has to be memorized. And that’s just one chapter.
I think of chemical formulae as a tool that chemists use, and of course if you work with a reaction long enough you’ll know everything about it, but how important is it really to memorize this kind of information? Even if you do memorize it for an exam, you’ll forget it pretty soon. And besides, there is a lot of reference material available and even that is not necessary, because you can even find a lot of the information on the internet.
I understand, like in maths and physics, where you have problems and if you solve enough of them, you learn the formula, and even if you don’t know it you can always derive it, but in chemistry, it’s not the same thing.
And also, I don’t think it’s fair to ask students to memorize the entire periodic table, that’s just… unfair. It’s the periodic table! You can hang one in your room if you really want to…