Limitations Preventing Solving Complex Problems Smartly

In my CEP 812 class, we read Part 1 of James Paul Gee’s book, The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students Through Digital Learning.  Gee talks about many limitations of the human mind that prevent complex problem solving in a smart way.  Lack of experience, in particular, is explained as being a vital component leading to problems with communication, and in turn, with solving problems.

When reading the first part of Gee’s book, I could not help but reflect upon my own teaching.  Young students constantly make generalizations about the world around them, and teachers strive every day to communicate new vocabulary and meanings behind how things work.  Based on a student’s lack of experience or different experiences from another student, they may perceive what the teacher is saying very differently.  Having awareness of this, as a teacher, can certainly help, for teachers must value the fact that no two children think exactly alike.

The link below connects to an essay where I dive deeper into Gee’s book and explain how lack of experience can serve as a limitation preventing solving big, complex problems smartly.



One response to “Limitations Preventing Solving Complex Problems Smartly

  1. Jake,

    You bring up some great points about how important student motivation is for learning and problem solving. I believe this is one of the biggest issues in education today. As you mentioned, how do we actually get students to “buy in”?

    I think you brought up a great example of how you used Skype in your own classroom and described how “these engaging lessons motivated students to do their best because they were showcasing their work to students from afar and wanted to impress them.” I think if we’re truthful with ourselves, educators can agree that there is no way for every student to find every single lesson relevant to their lives (as much as we may try to emphasize that it is or could be). However, as shown with your Skype lesson, maybe just the opportunity to take pride in work or interact with a new technology could get students to buy in, be more engaged, be more motivated, and be better learners.

    It would be great to see more direct quotes from Gee to see how he influenced your thoughtful reflection. Thanks for the great read!

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