Psychologists investigate the Socratic method?

Confusion may be better for learning than clarity. Why do philosophers have to disagree with everything that anyone says? Whatever their motivation, one result is that the Socratic method of generating confusion is better for learning. As this article explains …

“Common wisdom holds that confusion should be avoided during learning and rapidly resolved if and when it arises,” wrote a team of researchers in a paper published earlier this year. While this might be true when it comes to superficial tasks such as memorizing facts and figures, “Confusion is likely to promote learning at deeper levels of comprehension under appropriate conditions.”

In other words: If teachers want students to learn the really important stuff, like comprehending difficult texts and modeling complex systems, they should put their students in confusing situations.


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