Tag Archives: experts and novices

Young rowan tree seedling grow from old stump in a sunlit forest.

When Prior Knowledge Bites Back: The Dangers of Knowing Too Much

In this blog, we typically highlight the benefits of prior knowledge. For example: if a student knows a lot about baseball, she’ll be much more successful in understanding a reading passage about baseball. That same student could struggle mightily with

Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | 1 Comment

How Do Experts Think?

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying: “To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” It means, more or less, we see what we’re trained to see. If I bring a problem to a plumber, she’ll think about it like a plumbing problem.

Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged | Leave a comment

Balancing Direct Instruction with Project-Based Pedagogies

Tom Sherrington’s essay on direct instruction and project-based pedagogies is now available on his website. And: it prompts important questions about the novice/expert continuum. Continue reading

Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | 1 Comment
expert teacher vision

Do Expert Teachers See More Meaningful Classrooms?

Why do chess experts win more chess matches than novices? This question has a perfectly straightforward answer: they know more about chess. Obviously. Forty-five years ago, William Chase and Herbert Simon tested another hypothesis. Perhaps, they speculated, chess experts see

Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment
novices & experts

Crucial in the Classroom: Distinguishing between Experts & Novices

Novices & experts think differently. Teachers should not treat novices like experts, but should help them become experts. To do so, we need to think realistically about the limits of novice cognition. Continue reading

Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged | Leave a comment
structure inhibits creativity

Beware: Too Much Structure Hinders Creativity (for Experts)

Research shows that too much structure hinders creativity, whereas less-structured information allows more imaginative flexibility. Nonetheless, beginners do need structure to learn new skills. Continue reading

Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Interrupting Skilled Students

Here’s a sentence that won’t surprise you: practice typically makes us more skilled at the activity we’re practicing. Here’s a sentence that might surprise you: practice makes us more vulnerable to mistakes after an interruption. So, for example, if my

Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

It Ain’t What You Know, It’s…Oh, No, Sorry, It IS What You Know

I sense that the tide is beginning to turn on the knowledge-versus-skills debate, ‘21st Century’ or otherwise. There is an increasingly confident voice shouting a phrase that teachers have shouted for the few thousands of years that there have been

Posted in L&B Blog | Tagged , , | Leave a comment