Friday, December 4, 2020

Teacher Tom: False Beliefs

Teacher Tom: False Beliefs
False Beliefs

It's not just possible, but likely, that for most of us, most of the time, we possess the necessary intelligence, but are hindered by a false belief. For instance, most physicists have given up on the reality of the existence of space and time, yet we've lived our entire lives convinced that spacetime exists. Indeed, we can't even conceive of it, any more than we can envision a color we've never seen before or a fragrance we've never smelt. 

It seems odd that we can't "see" something as fundamental as that, yet as cognitive psychologist and author Steven Pinkler writes, "Our minds evolved by natural selection to solve problems that were life-and-death matters to our ancestors, not to commune with correctness." Prior to Charles Darwin, natural selection itself was hidden from us by our false beliefs rather rather than our lack of intelligence.

The field of education is rife with false beliefs. We see it in our reliance on testing and grades, our knee-jerk belief in the incompetence of children and their need for our constant supervision and intervention. We see it in our expectation that children, simply by virtue of similar birth dates, can and will learn the same things at the same time via the same methods. And we see it in our reliance upon adult-created curriculum instead of their natural curiosity, which is how CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: False Beliefs