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I tried that in a class I taught. The students were very frustrated and considered it a waste of time.

I agree it’s a FANTASTIC way to learn. I was very disheartened I didn’t effectively communicate that to the students.






Just a guess, your students probably didn't have the frame of reference or perspective to appreciate good design nor bad design.

Someone who's been in the trenches for several years, they'd probably get A LOT out of this technique as they would have many experiences to pull from.


Beginners often lack the experience to appreciate "critical thinking" based learning. At first they just want (need?) to know the steps to get something right, especially when they are still not particularly fluent in the very basics.

Once you've got some experience (which usually means getting things wrong a few times, seeing wrongness promoted to production because there isn't time to refactor, and having to fix the wrongness later once more layers or wrong are piled on top) you appreciate this sort of analysis much more as it helps you get things right first time more often, and/or helps you spot the actual problem (rather than chasing symptoms) in more complex situations.


It's like humans have to learn how to extract features before they can make efficient use of straightforward supervised learning...

> Beginners often lack the experience to appreciate "critical thinking" based learning.

I don't think that is it. _Beginners_ being the critical word.

Most learning is part of a negative feedback loop, if we only ever succeeded we wouldn't know why we succeeded, failure has such bad connotations in our society that it blinds students from deeply understanding a subject. Maybe replace it with experience?

Back to the subject of _Beginners_, we really should be teaching students from a very young age, philosophy, cognitive science, and epistemology. They should embrace experience, it shouldn't be up to the database schema instructor to teach both data modeling and learning by failure. Students should be fully versed in how to care and feed their brains by the time they arrive in the GPs class.


Generally yes, the general learning and problem solving mindset is going to help more than teaching "do this to do that" by rote.

But in any specific subject you need a certain level a basic knowledge taught that way before you can be expected to use the tools available (and potentially discover more) to problem solve.


I should have been more clear. My conjecture is that if we trained students on learning theory specifically and directly, they would understand the "suffering and pointlessness" of duplicating failed solutions. They would more openly embrace experience (failure) as necessary didactic tool.

Destigmatize not #winning and embracing experiential learning.


Also the "right" way often changes, in technology, and if you only learned the "right" way, when a better way comes out, you'll miss it because you only ever learned the "right" way and it's all you know.

In a work related context recently, I saw this approach used to attempt to describe how to achieve something. The problem for me was that I didn't understand the context well enough to understand why I'd initially even choose the wrong approach, let alone how that then related to choosing the correct approach. Making sure that the fundamentals are important here.



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