Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Unskilled and Unaware of It

Damn Interesting is a great site that seems to provide really useful explainations to a number of things. This particular article talks about the observation that incompetent people tend to overestimate their skills while highly competent people tend to underestimate them. It points to research that supports this notion along with some rationale.

The British philosopher Bertrand Russell once wrote that "the trouble with
the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of
doubt." This is true whether one interprets "stupid" as foolish (short on
smarts) or as ignorant (short on information). Deliberately or otherwise, his
sentiment echoes that of Charles Darwin, who over one hundred years ago pointed
out that "ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does

Given that students are a little bit like people :-) , one could draw the conclusion that students who are incompetent in relation to the learning that is happening in a class could be acting upon the idea that they are competent.

So the teacher needs to sensitively help the student to understand that this may not be so (create the incongruity). This can be an emotional time.



  • At 7:45 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ignorance is a very, very precious thing, once it is lost, it can never be regained.

  • At 7:59 am, Blogger Wara said…

    "Ignorance is bliss" :-)


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