Learning is not just practice.

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Although the results of Thorndike’s experiment reveal that the number of exercises can significantly improve the correctness of the behavioral results, the experiment has a fatal flaw: the subject of the experiment is animals. Animals are different from human beings in that their ” wisdom” is very limited and completely irrational, so they can only be improved through simple exercises in the learning process.

But people are different. People have much higher intelligence than animals, so people’s behavior in the learning process is not only through simple attempts, but will use their own wisdom to improve.

In fact, from the actual point of view of education, the consequences of over-emphasizing the number of exercises have been repeated.

On February 7, 2012, just after the Lantern Festival, the 17 – year – old high school student killed his mother with dumbbells in a neighborhood near a middle school in Zhengzhou when his mother, who was a talented ( pseudonym ), scolded him about his studies again.

This mother personally transports her children to and from school every day. Although the family conditions are not very good, she still does not go to work but rents a house beside the school to take care of her children’s study.

Throughout the winter vacation, the mother enrolled her children in five cram schools, two chemistry classes, one language class, one math class, and one English class. The whole cram school lasted until the 28th of December, and the cram school resumed on the 5th of the following year. During the rest days, she wrote the homework assigned by the school teachers at home.

The key is that after the child killed his mother, the investigators asked him if he regretted killing his mother. The child said he did not regret it. He could not study any more and the pressure was not so great.

This mother is really poor. I don’t know whether it is out of love or face saving. She pushed her child to the brink of collapse with constant practice, and pushed herself to a dead end. If enrolling in a few more cram schools can effectively improve learning, then there is no difference between people and animals such as cats and dogs.

In 2011, some high school students in Foshan, Guangdong even hacked the website of the local education bureau, citing too many homework assignments. In essence, the biggest defect of trial and error in learning lies in equating learning with a kind of behavioral action. That is to say, there is no difference in learning between a stupid dog and a smart dog. Whoever tries more often has a greater chance of getting the correct answer. Perhaps this is the case in animal learning, but is it also the case in human learning?

Researchers conducted an experimental test on 50 college students. The main test gave each college student a bunch of keys ( 50 in total ), told the college students that only one of the keys could open the classroom door, and asked the subjects to find the correct key and open the classroom door as soon as possible.

After each subject completes the task, let them write down the psychological process of solving the problem. The test results show that there are differences in the time for college students to solve problems, but it is not that those college students who usually act quickly can finish tasks faster than others, nor is it that those college students who try the most often find the right key first.

Moreover, no college students tried one by one in the test. Judging from the psychological process report written by the subjects afterwards, almost all of them used some strategies, such as according to the size, shape and brand of the key. This shows that people are not simply trying and correcting mistakes repeatedly in the process of solving problems ( the process of solving problems is a process of not attending meetings, the essence of which is a learning process in the normal sense ), but are giving full play to their intelligence and wisdom.

Another study may explain from another angle that trial and error may not reflect the whole nature of human learning. The author and some graduate students have been continuously counting the total learning time and the number of math and foreign language topics ( using a fixed form to check the students ) of 47 students in a senior three class in a key high school in Zhejiang Province from September 1, 2009 until these students take the college entrance examination on June 6, 2010.

The statistical results are quite different from our original expectation. We originally expected that good students might do more topics and spend more time on learning. However, the survey data show that if students are divided into two groups based on the standard that the college entrance examination scores reach one line, there is no significant difference in the average learning time between students who reach one line and those who do not reach one line throughout the high school year, and there is no significant difference in the number of math and foreign language topics.

This is an interesting result, which shows that even though students spend the same time on studying and doing the same number of topics ( of course, this study only investigated the situation in the third year of senior high school ), the final scores of the college entrance examination are not the same. We call this the ” result difference effect”.

Why does this happen? This only shows that trial and error may not fully explain human learning, and the learning process should be a process of intellectual participation. That is to say, although everyone spent the same amount of time studying and doing the same number of exercises, the final results were different due to the participation of intelligence, so some psychologists think that learning is more likely to be an epiphany process.

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