Desirable Difficulties

Posted by: inky

Desirable Difficulties - 04/23/11 12:07 PM

Thought this was good for advocating on behalf of gifted children. We're not crazy for wanting our children to be challenged! laugh
"A growing body of cognitive research, including Mr. Kornell’s study and a series of experiments presented at the American Educational Research Association conference earlier this month, suggests challenging material and study strategies—called “desirable difficulties”—help students remember material better and longer. By contrast, trying to take the route that feels easier can lead students to develop study habits that they believe are helpful, but that actively interfere with their learning...

For a teacher trying to design an assignment, the ideal thing is to put your students in a situation where they are challenged. The more someone struggles with something, the more they are going to learn,” Mr. Kornell said. “You want them to eventually feel something is easy to process, but only because they’ve worked through it and made it their own, not because you made it easy for them.”

Robert A. Bjork, the director of the Learning and Forgetting Lab at UCLA, calls this sort of challenge “desirable difficulties.” Just as in physical exercise, the more students have to exert their mental muscles to learn a new concept or recall an idea, the stronger their memory and learning will become.;cmp=clp-edweek
Posted by: Iucounu

Re: Desirable Difficulties - 04/23/11 12:43 PM

I approve of this article. smile I think that "desirable difficulties" is a great term, and that aside from any increase in performance when learning facts, that additionally challenge is crucial in developing intelligence, problem-solving skills, and long-term self-reliance.
Posted by: treecritter

Re: Desirable Difficulties - 04/23/11 03:08 PM

I'm printing out this article and posting it on the bulletin board in my classroom. It'll be required reading for anyone who complains about the difficulty of the class.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Desirable Difficulties - 04/27/11 03:49 PM

I always knew this to be true. Instinctively, as an educator, I mean.

LOVE that there's some research to back it up now, though.

(Might just go show this to my little pampered princess, in fact... wink )