How can we develop transformative tools for thought?

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Re: How can we develop transformative tools for thought?

Post by jacob »

tl;dr - But this seems more about effective memorizing, like preparing for Jeopardy or a multiple choice (closed-end) exam, than a way to develop thinking.

Comparing undergraduate physics education between Denmark, Switzerland, and the US(*), I'm still struck by how only the first seems to spend a lot of time solving increasingly more difficult textbook problems in the same fundamental material. The others stick with simple problems in increasingly more material. The difference between depth and width. Or in ERE terms, the difference between a Compilation of large number of facts but only limited ability to Compute vs the definite ability to Compute using a smaller number of facts.

(*) Based mostly on my anecdotal evidence of teaching and being taught in individual institutions in those countries.

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Re: How can we develop transformative tools for thought?

Post by FBeyer »

The authors actually address you concern about the 'Jeopardy' style teaching.
The Too Short version being: When you can win every Jeopardy competition on the true fundamental building blocks of quantum mechanics, you won't find that you stumble your way through increasingly difficult texts, because the vector notation, the assumptions about how matrices work and the implications of everything hold you back, they've become second nature long ago.

In other words: You can't be too good at your fundamentals.

Anecdotally, I found the exact problem M.Nielsen describes to be embarrassingly close to my own experiences with QM. My linear algebra was shaky, self-taught and 1.5 years old by the time I needed it.
I could REALLY have used to method of teaching back then!

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Re: How can we develop transformative tools for thought?

Post by fiby41 »

We could use mushroom clouds for thought bubbles.

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