Arguing to Learn

This actually came in one of the newsletters from today.

Arguing to learn
by Margaret Rouse, Editor

“I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don’t even invite me.” — Dave Barry

There’s a trend in online learning right now called “arguing to learn.” The basic premise in this Socratic twist is that arguing with your peers online encourages you to gather, evaluate, and organize information. By arguing about a particular subject, you learn about your own misconceptions and gain a deeper understanding of different perspectives. One reason arguing is such an effective learning tool is that people tend to be wildly optimistic about how well they understand their own positions.

There’s no doubt about it, the Internet is changing the way we learn. It’s also changing the way we mentor each other professionally. A good mentor, like a good teacher, is no longer the “sage on the stage,” but more like a “guide on the side.” With all the information available to us online, we’re all mentors and we’re all learners.

In our new learning series, Face-off, we invite you to learn more about an IT topic by reading a short debate and adding your two cents to the discussion. The more people who participate in the discussion, the more we’ll all learn!

As Professor Eric Mazur points out in this article from the National Science Foundation, “Arguing to learn is not hands-on. It’s brains-on.” Go ahead. Be a mentor and learn something.

Current Mood: 🙂mellow
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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