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Posts Tagged ‘dunning-kruger

You might know cognitive bias by a different name.

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The movie-phile might cite a young Forrest Gump: “Stupid is as stupid does”. The well-read might label this as the Dunning-Kruger effect.

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According to the video above narrated (by Stephen Fry, no less!) cognitive bias can take root due to the salience effect (what gets emphasised) and repetition (what gets repeated).

Some might point out that a little knowledge might be a dangerous thing, but — to quote a line from the video — complete ignorance also breeds confidence. This is the Dunning-Kruger effect.

The obvious salve seems to be to inject the stubborn and ignorant with timely information. But pride and bias make for thick skin. So Fry hinted at an alternative strategy: Tackle emotions first. Find ways to connect with those you seek to change.

Learning is a form of change. So if teachers take anything away, it might be this message: Reach to teach.

If you cannot reach them, you cannot teach them.

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Talk about a double-whammy — incompetent people who think that they are amazing do not know they are incompetent nor do they have the mindset or aptitude to change.

This observation is based on psychological research and is called the Dunning-Kruger effect.

How do we not overestimate our own abilities as teachers and educators? I suggest each of us reflects critically and strategically. Mine is to do so at least daily and this has become a habit.

How might we not overestimate our collective abilities as a system or country famed for its schooling and education system as measured by tests? I say we ignore PISA results and university rankings. These external validations count for little if we do not first critique ourselves and seek to continuously improve.

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