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Teaching by Exclusion

It is not what you know, it is what you thought you didn’t think you didn’t know you knew you know, except you didn’t know it correctly. You know?
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I’m not a stranger to transferring or building models of understanding through educational means.

If you teach a concept or facet within a subject, what may happen is that the student’s mind settles on a plausible model that is not quite the model which is correct, but to them seems to be. They will consider that as they now ‘get it’ there is no need to ask questions or seek further clarification.

I think this happens over and over, far more than we realise, and each time at a quite small scale. People go out into the world and work in the field with years of significantly off- centre understanding.

What I suggest is a form of teaching that not only points to what the thing is, the facet or aspect that is undergoing the teaching of, but also covers likely ways of getting it incorrect. Teach by exclusion — explain what it isn’t. There’s a lot more incorrect configurations of information than correct ones, and statistically the student will have arrived at one of those first. Realising it is incorrect, they’ll move on to a different understanding, but if they don’t, they won’t. The job of the teacher in this paradigm is to realise the many diverse ways people can get it incorrect, and overtly exclude those misunderstandings.

Ian Tindale, May 15 2016

Teach by testing Learning_20by_20Exam
An use tests with questions that highlight attractive wrong ways to do things. [bungston, May 16 2016]

[link]






       I get this. No need to explain further...
RayfordSteele, May 15 2016
  

       teach join-the-feckin-dots. I've been saying this forever...
po, May 15 2016
  

       Sturton was excluded for several terms - can't say it worked well for him.   

       However, I do sort of agree with the motive behind the idea. The problem is that there are so many incorrect notions in the heads of so many people that it will be very, very hard to exclude a significant proportion of them. To put it another way, "it's difficult to make something foolproof, because fools are so ingenious".   

       I think a more promising approach is to teach principles more and specifics less, particularly at the beginning. For instance, if you're teaching about enzymes, don't start with peroxidase and then later on extract general ideas from it. Start instead with ideas like reaction energies and quantum tunnelling, and then bring in peroxidase an example.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 15 2016
  

       Something about... known knowns, and things we know that we know, and known unknowns ... things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.   

       Does that about cover it ?
8th of 7, May 15 2016
  

       It doesn’t quantify it. I note that just as for each topic domain there are specific steps that require “getting” before further progress can be made, that each domain has a different profile of how many things you have to get before the next level is embarked upon.   

       What I mean by quantify is that for each “famous” node, there’s likely to be a quantifiable top ten of “worst practice” ways of thinking about this thing you're on the cusp of having learned about, that although seem as though you can be satisfied you’ve learned it, in fact, are incorrect and you haven’t learned it, you’ve merely achieved an equilibrium whereby you don’t feel you don’t understand it. In fact, you still don’t, but you think you do.   

       As I say, there’s probably a top ten (for convenience) of traps a person will fall into at this particular facet of this topic whereby they’ll feel relieved that they understand it now.
Ian Tindale, May 15 2016
  

       // There are things we don't know we don't know. //   

       For example?
whatrock, May 15 2016
  

       That's on a need-to-know basis ... we could tell you, but then we'd have to kill you.
8th of 7, May 15 2016
  

       I suspect that what Tindale describes here in fact described human thought generally. A person acquiring a concept acquires and refines it to the points where the concept serves the purpose at hand. I might stop with Newtonian physics if I have no interest in the orbit of Mercury. My own mental geography is adequate to get me home, most of the time. It certainly could be refined further but before I go to the effort I would want to see the challenges which my current mental scheme cannot adequately address.   

       A way to do this is with the teach by testing scheme I saw here. An incorrect mental model will fail with certain types of challenges. Early on, a student should be faced with these challenges such that the deficit in the model is clear.
bungston, May 16 2016
  

       I've put you in my contradictory teacher lineup for learning purposes, along with tossing a bun in your direction, but I fear that too many counterexamples which are not directly contrary will muddle the fish pool.
4and20, May 16 2016
  

       Here's what i don't understand about your idea.
pashute, May 20 2016
  
      
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