Recollection is the retrieval of memory. In the conversation in Plato’s Meno, Socrates is trying to prove Plato’s theory of recollection in which the slave boy is tested, by Socrates to learn square roots. The point of this lesson is to see if the slave boy learns square roots because Socrates teaches it to him or because Socrates explains it to him. Does the theory of recollection allow the slave boy to learn square roots?
The slave boy is listening to Socrates while he secretly explains square roots through simple minded questions. The slave boy clearly catches on and understands after a while that a double space should have a double side. He learned this theory without knowing it. He knew the answers without being taught because of recollection. So, yes, the slave boy learns due to recollection. He was listening to Socrates explain through questions and began answering the questions because of knowledge he did not know he had. His memory was retrieved through out the conversation and remembered what Socrates was secretly teaching him. The simple solution that a double space should have a double side sunk into him mind through out the conversation to make it look like he did not just learn it, but knew it all along.
Recollection plays a huge role in learning because you do not have to be simply taught something, because you may already know it without knowing it. Similar to common sense, recollection provides memory and an immediate reaction to simple knowledge that does not need to be taught, yet can be further learned through explanation. The slave boy caught on to Socrates quickly without knowing he was taught because memory provided him with all the knowledge he need to know.