Food for Thought Friday: Can a Surprise Help You Learn Better?

????????? (Surprise) by citx, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  citx 

by Kristie Burk

Surprise!  Did you learn anything?

new study from John Hopkins that shows that when babies were surprised by something an object did, they tended to learn more from it than if the object behaved predictably.

“For young learners, the world is an incredibly complex place filled with dynamic stimuli. How do learners know what to focus on and learn more about, and what to ignore? Our research suggests that infants use what they already know about the world to form predictions. When these predictions are shown to be wrong, infants use this as a special opportunity for learning,” says one of the researchers Lisa Feigenson, a professor of psychological and brain sciences.

This is a very limited study, but it raises some interesting questions for educators.  If we surprise our students somehow, do you think they’ll learn more? Test it out and let us know at!


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