Clip this onto educlipper

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Fooling yourself effect

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool" Richard Feynman

When it comes to being aware of our learning this can be tricky. Sometimes we think we are learning and we really aren't and other times we think we didn't really learn and we did. Knowing whether you are learning is difficult because we can fool ourselves. Research has shown that there are many times students think they are learning and they are not. This is due to the fooling yourself effect.

Students don't arrive with blank slate, everyone comes in with preconceived ideas and misconceptions of what they think is right that in fact inhibits and impedes the learning process. As teachers we need to teach misconceptions to help students understand fact from fiction. This is on of the best ways for learning to stick long term (and let's face it, if it's not long term was it really learned?). Studies have shown that when misconceptions are taught students learn better even though they may not feel as confident with the material. Many times students feel confident but perform poorly because they didn't really learn. In other words the background information students brought in made them feel comfortable with the learning process, but they didn't really learn. This is where we live up to the quote.

As educators we have to be fully aware of this effect and really get students to feel uncomfortable about the learning. They need to be stretched and challenged. They need to experience first hand the 'why' and 'how'. Learning needs to be an active experience, it needs to be one where students are really pushed to consider multiple perspectives and the one they bring with them may need some reshaping.

If we aren't challenging our students then we may be fooling ourselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment