Saturday, September 7, 2013

The learning "sweet spot"

Sweet One via Compfight cc

"Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham wrote a book called Why Don’t Students Like School?The book is complex and fascinating – and 228 pages – but you can basically boil the answer down to this: Students don’t like school because school isn’t set up to help them learn very well.
The first thing to know is that everyone likes to learn.
“There is a sense of satisfaction, of fulfillment, in successful thinking,” writes Willingham.
But it’s not fun to try to learn something that’s too hard.
“Working on a problem with no sense that you’re making progress is not pleasurable,” writes Willingham. “In fact, it’s frustrating.”
Working on a problem that’s too easy is no fun either. It’s boring.
What people enjoy is working on problems that are the right level of difficulty.
“The problem must be easy enough to be solved yet difficult enough to take some mental effort,” Willingham writes. He calls this the “sweet spot” of difficulty."


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