The Harm of Teaching a Fixed List of Facts

In each area a student pursues, there will be facts that are quite important to know. But, teaching students a fixed set of facts within that chosen area is harmful. It creates the illusion of knowledge without providing a context for that knowledge. Teaching these facts directly makes learning dull, difficult, and irrelevant.

Fortunately, there is an alternative to such an approach. The trick is not to teach the facts at all, but rather to have the facts be along the way to getting to something the student naturally wanted to know in the first place. Using the Acquisition Hypothesis, we assume that how one learns a fact is as important as what fact one learns. Thus we should have students learn facts while engaged in a process similar to the one in which they will use the facts. We should use students' natural interest so they come across such facts incidentally, in the course of pursuing their interests.

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