Check for understanding is a good strategy because it takes into account group and individual differences. By using Check for Understanding, the teacher pauses at the end of each section to make sure that the students have gotten the most out of the material. Within a single classroom, the students may belong to several different groups that have an effect on their biological potential and the way they were raised. Some of these differences include culture and ethnicity, gender, and poverty. By employing the focus of statistical sampling, the teacher can question students from different groups within the classroom in order to get a better over-all view of the class. However, it is important to understand that group differences do not dictate the potential of an individual. Students are inherently different by their biological makeup and the environment they grew up in, so performance varies by student. The observation aspect of Check for Understanding allows an opportunity for teachers to view the comprehension of each student, regardless of the performance of their fellow classmates. This strategy provides a way for the teacher to quickly gather a general overview of class understanding, while also providing an opportunity to pinpoint students who are struggling with the material and potentially find a way to help them succeed.
Another reason the Check for Understanding strategy works is because it uses the Information Processing Theory to see where the information is possibly located in the brain, acting as a measure of understanding. This theory is a multi-step process that essentially divides memory into three stages (Sensory Memory, Working Memory, and Long-term Memory) and discusses how information moves between the three. As experiences occur, the knowledge is registered the way it is presented. When this knowledge is useful or necessary, it is moved into the working memory, or short-term memory, and is only stored for between five and twenty seconds. Information that needs to be used again is transferred to the long-term memory for permanent storage. The goal of teachers is to help students transfer information into long-term memory in order for his or her students to be able to remember and recall the knowledge they have gained. By employing the Check for Understanding strategy and acting quickly, it allows teachers to see if the information has been understood and transferred to the long-term memory. If the students understood the material, it was likely a meaningful learning experience to them, so they were able to remember it. If the students did not understand the material, there is still the opportunity to make the experience meaningful, or to find another way to introduce the information in a way that the students will remember. By acting quickly, it allows for information still stored in the short-term memory to be moved into the long-term memory before it is erased.