Want to Students to Remember? Make it Challenging

“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.  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.”

~Nate Kornell, Assistant Psychology Professor at Williams College in “Studies Find ‘Easy’ Material May Not Be Easy to Learn” (Education Week)

Make sure you read this whole article.  This is something all the great teachers I know seem to know, and it flies in face of the “drill and kill” model of education being propagated by too many schools across the country right now.  As I tell everyone I coach, the best form of “test prep” is a good, challenging, project.  It’s nice to see research confirm that.  The whole study can be found here (PDF file).


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