Critical thinking, and content specificity

Aug 31, 2013




I came across this talk by Daniel Willingham soon after a faculty discussion about medical exam format: the tension between assessment and sampling on the one hand, and the tendency for people to overgeneralise from particular contexts (bluntly: people keep talking about generic skills, when I  think they are much more context and domain specific). He gives some nice examples, and presents some depressing work showing how poor some teaching is at allowing people to see ‘deep’ structures (aka learning). He missed a trick however. He should have used the problem of  interference from his phone —and his solution to it — as an example of what he was talking about.

Post by Jonathan Rees

Clinical academic and skin watcher at the University of Edinburgh

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