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People are naturally curious, but we are not naturally good thinkers; unless the cognitive conditions are right, we will avoid thinking. 1. The mind is not designed for thinking 1. Humans don't think very often. Why? Our brains are not designed for thought but the avoidance of thought. Thought takes effort. 2. The brain dedicates more energy (and space) for things like movement, vision, etc. These activities are more difficult than solving chess. Thus more room given to such activities. 3. Three properties of thinking 1. Thinking is slow 2. Thinking takes effort 3. Thinking is uncertain 4. B/c thinking is so hard, how do we get through the day? When we can, we don't think. Instead, we rely on memory. Most problems we face are problems we've solved before. 5. Memory 1. Personal events 2. Facts (like George Washington 3. Strategies to guide what we should do! 6. Despite the fact that we're not good at it, we actually like to think. We are naturally curious, and we look for opportunities to engage in certain types of thoughts. We are naturally curious, and we look for opportunities to engage in certain types of thought. But because thinking is so hard, the conditions have to be right for this curiosity to thrive, or we quite thinking rather readily. 2. People are naturally curious, but curiosity is fragile 1. Solving problems brings pleasure 1. But "solving" is the key. 2. To hard (can't solve) = no pleasure and you stop working on the problem 3. Too easy = no pleasure on solving the problem 2. We're curious about some stuff but not other 1. What happens to create interest in "boring" contentent? 2. The answer might be in the difficulty in solving the problem. 3. How Thinking Works Environment

Working Memory

4. Classroom Implications 1. Be sure there are problems to be solved. 2. Respect Students’ Cognitive Limits

Long-Term Memory


1. “If students lack the background knowledge to engage with a problem, save it for another time when they have that knowledge.” 2. Understand the limits of working memory. Overloads are caused by:  Multistep instruction  Lists of unconnected facts  Chains of logic more than two or three steps long  The application of a just learned concept to new material

Why Students  

Why students don't learn

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