The best teachers are unparalleled experts in the field, right? Well, the research actually reveals this to be a myth in many cases.
Hattie and Yates, in Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn, summarize much of the research about the relationship between expertise and teaching effectiveness. They state:
Experts may not know exactly what they are doing since their skill is automated and unconscious... Even when attempting to make it easy, experts still tend to leave out information a novice would find valuable.This understanding has relevance to us as both educators and colleagues. The best educators are empathetic, and they are able to re-imagine what it's like to be a true beginner. The best educators don't fall prey to the "expert blind spot effect," a term that describes the things masters forget due to the automaticity of a skill.
So, whether you're working with colleagues on an instructional strategy or you're working with students on something you've taught for years, remember how tough it is to be a novice. As you start to craft instruction for a topic that will be new for learners, consider the following questions:
- What might a novice be feeling the first time they encounter this problem/task?
- What "self-talk" do I engage in when starting a task/problem like this?
- How do I get myself "unstuck" when unexpected changes pop up?
Be explicit. Learning shouldn't be a guessing game.
by Mini D