The “Curse of Knowledge,” or Why Intuition About Teaching Often Fails

“This ‘curse of knowledge’ means is that it is dangerous, and often profoundly incorrect to think about student learning based on what appears best to faculty members, as opposed to what has been verified with students. However, the former approach tends to dominate discussions on how to improve physics education. There are great debates in faculty meetings as to what order to present material, or different approaches for introducing quantum mechanics or other topics, all based on how the faculty now think about the subject. Evaluations of teaching are often based upon how a senior faculty member perceives the organization, complexity, and pace of a junior faculty member’s lecture. In the pages of APS News, this same expert-centered approach to assessing educational experiences has played out recently in the debate over the use of interactive simulations vs. hands-on labs.”

http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200711/backpage.cfm

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