Over on Twitter, @DylanWilliam wrote:
“[P]hysics tells you about the properties of materials but it’s the engineer who designs the bridge. Similarly, psychology tells us about how our brains work, but it’s teachers who craft instruction.”
In other words, teachers should learn a great deal about psychology from psychologists.
(And should learn some things about neuroscience from neuroscientists.)
But the study of psychology doesn’t — and can’t — tell us exactly how to teach. We have to combine the underlying psychological principles (that’s “physics” in William’s analogy) with the day-to-day gritty demands of the environment (“engineering”).
And so, my clarifying New Year’s resolution:
Study physics to be a better engineer.
I hope you’ll join me this year, and share your wisdom!