Sunday, 11 December 2011

Thinking things through

"Contrary to popular belief, the brain is not designed for thinking. It’s designed to save you from having to think, because the brain is actually not very good at thinking. Thinking is slow and unreliable. People are naturally curious, but we are not naturally good thinkers; unless the cognitive conditions are right, we will avoid
Dan Willingham - 'Why Don't Students Like School?'
When I first read this, a lot of things fell into place for me as a teacher. We spend hours of our time moaning to each other about how we have to spoon-feed the students everything, how surprised we are that they never seem to think for themselves, but of course this is just what should be expected. Thinking is hard work, and there is little incentive for it, even from exam boards.

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