It is more important for students to understand ideas and concepts than it is for them to learn facts.
I totally agree with the statement that it is more important for students to understand ideas and concepts than it is for them to learn facts. I will explore various reasons behind my agreement.
First of all, students are very quick to grasp anything they read, listen or experience. Now, there are number of facts they come to know in course of their study. They can learn or memorize all of them. But, many facts may have similar underlying ideas or concepts. So, if the students start to assimilate those concepts instead of the facts, they can gather more knowledge in same time. For an example, the questions - "Why ice floats in water?" and "Why parachute does not free fall?" has the same answer which is the principle of buoyancy. That means, those two facts have same underlying ideas. So, if a students understand that principle correctly, then he/she does not have to waste time to learn those facts separately.
Secondly, facts are temporary. Those will not be asked anywhere except during the examination. Student should learn something from the ideas or causes of those facts. From that ideas he/she can make impact on his/her own life. For example: a student can readily learn about Abraham Lincoln's personal life or his credits. But, it is necessary to understand the ideas of Lincoln's or what made him Abraham Lincoln or what was in him which brought revolution in the history of USA. If a student can capture all the periods of his failure and how Lincoln overcame those failures to get success, then he/she would be possessing more wisdom than anyone. Moreover, the student can implement those roads of success in his/her life.
Finally, memorizing facts is very much painful and confusing. Student can gradually start to lack interest as learning mere facts may seem dull to him. Then he/she will study just to pass an examination. Proper motivation of education will be destroyed then. Schools will then create many Encyclopedias instead of scholars. This is dangerous for society. Because, to evolve society or make improvement within society, people who have practical knowledge are need. People who just have memorized some bookish facts are no use of the society.
So, to make education proper, to convert students to responsible citizens, to make our livelihood smoother, stress should be given to grasp ideas and concepts instead of facts in schools.