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First, I have a small bone to pick with something /u/SlyFiye said:First, I have a small bone to pick with something /u/SlyFiye said:

First, I have a small bone to pick with something /u/SlyFiye said:

First, I have a small bone to pick with something /u/SlyFiye said:

3 Deep fixes. What I wrote in the first draft was overstated, possibly false.
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First, I have a small bone to pick with something /u/SlyFiye said:

For what its worth, I appreciate the honesty when my instructor uses crossed fingers .... I will treat knowledge given to me in this manner as practical use advice and not grounded principle.

(emphasis mine)

It seems to me that this is exactly backwards. The reason to give an incomplete picture is to allow students to absorb important grounding principled before adding wrinkles and complexities. This is what motivates the entire enterprise.

FirstSecond, the principle is one for usually, and not for always.

What happensI've repeatedly observed in my own classroom that, if my students are already somewhat lost in a student's brain when they hearcomplex topic, even hinting that there ismight be more tocomplexity beneath the story is not exactlysurface causes them to completely lose the blank "okay, there will be more later" that we might hope fortopic. Instead, what will happen It has been consistent enough that I am utterly convinced that this effect is a series of rapid mental transitionsreal, in which the student mentally loops through the components of what they have learned and trieswe need to guess at which part might not be true, exactly, and what that truth might be. This involves a sort of miniature cognitive scramble at each passtreat it with care. "Okay, so if this part isn't true, then maybe things don't quite connect the way I've just been shown."

The reason that this matters is that, if the connections in your student'sI have two brain are already quite tenuous, the process of scrambling can muck everything up-based theories for why this might be.

Put practically, if your lecture has just brought many of your students to the cusp of what they can absorb at that moment I have not found any research to support (and if you are an experienced lecturer, you may well recognize what students look like at that momentor detract), letting them know that there is more complexity to the story sometimes does not have the desired effect at all. Students still go through that same mental process described above from these theories, but what comes out of it is essentially spaghetti. That tiny, inchoate thread that they were constructing about your topic will simply come apart.could both well explain the phenomenon:

  1. Simple de-motivation. Upon hearing that this very hard thing that they are faced with is partially false, the student simply despairs and gives up. Why do all of the hard work to understand something that isn't even true?

  2. Brain-scrambles. What happens in a student's brain when they hear that there is more to the story may not exactly be the blank "okay, there will be more later" that we might hope for. Instead, what might happen is a series of rapid mental transitions, in which the student mentally loops through the components of what they have learned and tries to guess at which part might not be true, exactly, and what that truth might be. This involves a sort of miniature cognitive scramble at each pass. "Okay, so if this part isn't true, then maybe things don't quite connect the way I've just been shown."

    The reason that this matters is that, if the connections in your student's brain are already quite tenuous, the process of scrambling can muck everything up.

    When faced with the revelation that the topic has even more to it, confused students still go through that same mental process described above, but what comes out of it is essentially spaghetti. That tiny, inchoate thread that they were constructing about your topic will simply come apart.

In such instancesRegardless of the reason, if my students are already confused, I have found it better to hold off on even mentioning that the material is really more complex. Give the students a chance to try to get a handle on the ideas you have placed before them before inviting them entertain any further complexity.

You can come back around and fix things later. Or not. I actually take a rather dim view of ensuringmaking sure that every statement is always fully accurate. Sometimes insisting on total accuracy can forcepull your students to get lost indeep enough into the weeds instead of noticingthat they simply get lost, and never fully notice the giant lake.

My second point is a small bone to pick with something /u/SlyFiye said:

For what its worth, I appreciate the honesty when my instructor uses crossed fingers .... I will treat knowledge given to me in this manner as practical use advice and not grounded principle.

(emphasis mine)

It seems to mestatue that this is exactly backwards. The reason to give an incomplete picture isyou were trying to allow studentspoint them to absorb important grounding principled before adding wrinkles and complexities.

First, the principle is one for usually, and not for always.

What happens in a student's brain when they hear that there is more to the story is not exactly the blank "okay, there will be more later" that we might hope for. Instead, what will happen is a series of rapid mental transitions, in which the student mentally loops through the components of what they have learned and tries to guess at which part might not be true, exactly, and what that truth might be. This involves a sort of miniature cognitive scramble at each pass. "Okay, so if this part isn't true, then maybe things don't quite connect the way I've just been shown."

The reason that this matters is that, if the connections in your student's brain are already quite tenuous, the process of scrambling can muck everything up.

Put practically, if your lecture has just brought many of your students to the cusp of what they can absorb at that moment (and if you are an experienced lecturer, you may well recognize what students look like at that moment), letting them know that there is more complexity to the story sometimes does not have the desired effect at all. Students still go through that same mental process described above, but what comes out of it is essentially spaghetti. That tiny, inchoate thread that they were constructing about your topic will simply come apart.

In such instances, I have found it better to hold off on even mentioning that the material is really more complex. Give the students a chance to try to get a handle on the ideas you have placed before them before inviting them entertain any further complexity.

You can come back around and fix things later. Or not. I actually take a rather dim view of ensuring that every statement is always accurate. Sometimes insisting on accuracy can force your students to get lost in the weeds instead of noticing the giant lake.

My second point is a small bone to pick with something /u/SlyFiye said:

For what its worth, I appreciate the honesty when my instructor uses crossed fingers .... I will treat knowledge given to me in this manner as practical use advice and not grounded principle.

(emphasis mine)

It seems to me that this is exactly backwards. The reason to give an incomplete picture is to allow students to absorb important grounding principled before adding wrinkles and complexities.

First, I have a small bone to pick with something /u/SlyFiye said:

For what its worth, I appreciate the honesty when my instructor uses crossed fingers .... I will treat knowledge given to me in this manner as practical use advice and not grounded principle.

(emphasis mine)

It seems to me that this is exactly backwards. The reason to give an incomplete picture is to allow students to absorb important grounding principled before adding wrinkles and complexities. This is what motivates the entire enterprise.

Second, the principle is one for usually, and not for always.

I've repeatedly observed in my own classroom that, if my students are already somewhat lost in a complex topic, even hinting that there might be more complexity beneath the surface causes them to completely lose the topic. It has been consistent enough that I am utterly convinced that this effect is real, and we need to treat it with care.

I have two brain-based theories for why this might be. I have not found any research to support (or detract) from these theories, but they could both well explain the phenomenon:

  1. Simple de-motivation. Upon hearing that this very hard thing that they are faced with is partially false, the student simply despairs and gives up. Why do all of the hard work to understand something that isn't even true?

  2. Brain-scrambles. What happens in a student's brain when they hear that there is more to the story may not exactly be the blank "okay, there will be more later" that we might hope for. Instead, what might happen is a series of rapid mental transitions, in which the student mentally loops through the components of what they have learned and tries to guess at which part might not be true, exactly, and what that truth might be. This involves a sort of miniature cognitive scramble at each pass. "Okay, so if this part isn't true, then maybe things don't quite connect the way I've just been shown."

    The reason that this matters is that, if the connections in your student's brain are already quite tenuous, the process of scrambling can muck everything up.

    When faced with the revelation that the topic has even more to it, confused students still go through that same mental process described above, but what comes out of it is essentially spaghetti. That tiny, inchoate thread that they were constructing about your topic will simply come apart.

Regardless of the reason, if my students are already confused, I have found it better to hold off on even mentioning that the material is really more complex. Give the students a chance to try to get a handle on the ideas you have placed before them before inviting them entertain any further complexity.

You can come back around and fix things later. Or not. I actually take a rather dim view of making sure that every statement is always fully accurate. Sometimes insisting on total accuracy can pull your students deep enough into the weeds that they simply get lost, and never fully notice the giant statue that you were trying to point them to.

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I must say, I largely agree with the posters so far. The principle of lying with your fingers crossed is a good one. However, I have two caveats, and I believe that they are important.

First, the principle is one for usually, and not for always.

What happens in a student's brain when they hear that there is more to the story is not exactly the blank "okay, there will be more later" that we might hope for. Instead, what will happen is a series of rapid mental transitions, in which the student mentally loops through the components of what they have learned and tries to guess at which part might not be true, exactly, and what that truth might be. This involves a sort of miniature cognitive scramble at each pass. "Okay, so if this part isn't true, then maybe things don't quite connect the way I've just been shown."

The reason that this matters is that, if the connections in your student's brain are already quite tenuous, the process of scrambling can muck everything up.

Put practically, if your lecture has just brought many of your students to the cusp of what they can absorb at that moment (and if you are an experienced lecturer, you may well recognize what students look like at that moment), letting them know that there is more complexity to the story sometimes does not have the desired effect at all. Students still go through that same mental process described above, but what comes out of it is essentially spaghetti. That tiny, inchoate thread that they were constructing about your topic will simply come apart.

In such instances, I have found it better to hold off on even mentioning that the structures at play can getmaterial is really more complex. Give the students a chance to try to get a handle on the ideas you have placed before them before inviting them entertain any further complexity.

You can come back around and fix things later. Or not. I actually take a rather dim view of ensuring that every statement is always accurate. Sometimes insisting on accuracy can force your students to get lost in the weeds instead of noticing the giant lake.

My second point is a small bone to pick with something /u/SlyFiye said:

For what its worth, I appreciate the honesty when my instructor uses crossed fingers .... I will treat knowledge given to me in this manner as practical use advice and not grounded principle.

(emphasis mine)

It seems to me that this is exactly backwards. The reason to give an incomplete picture is to allow students to absorb important grounding principled before adding wrinkles and complexities.

I stand by what I said at the beginning; crossing your fingers is usually the best way to go. But sometimes it can be more effective to choose your battles and let sleeping monsters lie.

I must say, I largely agree with the posters so far. The principle of lying with your fingers crossed is a good one. However, I have two caveats, and I believe that they are important.

First, the principle is one for usually, and not for always.

What happens in a student's brain when they hear that there is more to the story is not exactly the blank "okay, there will be more later" that we might hope for. Instead, what will happen is a series of rapid mental transitions, in which the student mentally loops through the components of what they have learned and tries to guess at which part might not be true, exactly, and what that truth might be. This involves a sort of miniature cognitive scramble at each pass. "Okay, so if this part isn't true, then maybe things don't quite connect the way I've just been shown."

The reason that this matters is that, if the connections in your student's brain are already quite tenuous, the process of scrambling can muck everything up.

Put practically, if your lecture has just brought many of your students to the cusp of what they can absorb at that moment (and if you are an experienced lecturer, you may well recognize what students look like at that moment), letting them know that there is more complexity to the story sometimes does not have the desired effect at all. Students still go through that same mental process described above, but what comes out of it is essentially spaghetti. That tiny, inchoate thread that they were constructing about your topic will simply come apart.

In such instances, I have found it better to hold off on even mentioning that the structures at play can get more complex. Give the students a chance to try to get a handle on the ideas before them before inviting them entertain any further complexity.

My second point is a small bone to pick with something /u/SlyFiye said:

For what its worth, I appreciate the honesty when my instructor uses crossed fingers .... I will treat knowledge given to me in this manner as practical use advice and not grounded principle.

(emphasis mine)

It seems to me that this is exactly backwards. The reason to give an incomplete picture is to allow students to absorb important grounding principled before adding wrinkles and complexities.

I stand by what I said at the beginning; crossing your fingers is usually the best way to go. But sometimes it can be more effective to let sleeping monsters lie.

I must say, I largely agree with the posters so far. The principle of lying with your fingers crossed is a good one. However, I have two caveats, and I believe that they are important.

First, the principle is one for usually, and not for always.

What happens in a student's brain when they hear that there is more to the story is not exactly the blank "okay, there will be more later" that we might hope for. Instead, what will happen is a series of rapid mental transitions, in which the student mentally loops through the components of what they have learned and tries to guess at which part might not be true, exactly, and what that truth might be. This involves a sort of miniature cognitive scramble at each pass. "Okay, so if this part isn't true, then maybe things don't quite connect the way I've just been shown."

The reason that this matters is that, if the connections in your student's brain are already quite tenuous, the process of scrambling can muck everything up.

Put practically, if your lecture has just brought many of your students to the cusp of what they can absorb at that moment (and if you are an experienced lecturer, you may well recognize what students look like at that moment), letting them know that there is more complexity to the story sometimes does not have the desired effect at all. Students still go through that same mental process described above, but what comes out of it is essentially spaghetti. That tiny, inchoate thread that they were constructing about your topic will simply come apart.

In such instances, I have found it better to hold off on even mentioning that the material is really more complex. Give the students a chance to try to get a handle on the ideas you have placed before them before inviting them entertain any further complexity.

You can come back around and fix things later. Or not. I actually take a rather dim view of ensuring that every statement is always accurate. Sometimes insisting on accuracy can force your students to get lost in the weeds instead of noticing the giant lake.

My second point is a small bone to pick with something /u/SlyFiye said:

For what its worth, I appreciate the honesty when my instructor uses crossed fingers .... I will treat knowledge given to me in this manner as practical use advice and not grounded principle.

(emphasis mine)

It seems to me that this is exactly backwards. The reason to give an incomplete picture is to allow students to absorb important grounding principled before adding wrinkles and complexities.

I stand by what I said at the beginning; crossing your fingers is usually the best way to go. But sometimes it can be more effective to choose your battles and let sleeping monsters lie.

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