Arguing to Learn

This actu­al­ly came in one of the newslet­ters from Whatis.com 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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