1 Nov 2012

Obstacles and learning

It seems that the easier the learning the less it stays. Listen to this:

Robert Bjork from the University of California talks of "desirable difficulties" to describe the counter-intuitive notion that learning should be made harder. Spacing sessions further apart so that students have to make more effort to recall what they learnt last time had better results in the long term. Research has found that the bigger the obstacles the deeper the learning.

Professor Virginia Berninger at the University of Washington found that handwriting activated more of the brain than keyboard writing, including areas responsible for thinking and memory.

Psychologists at Princeton found that students remembered reading material better when it was printed in an ugly font.

Researchers in the University of Amsterdam found that when people are forced to cope with unexpected obstacles they react by increasing their "perceptual scope"—taking a mental step back to see the bigger picture.

Maybe we should re-think the way we've been educating our children for the last thirty years.






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