Friday, May 25, 2012

Reality in reading

"The brain, it seems, does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life;.." -- Annie Murphy Paul

A recent opinion piece in the Sunday NY Times reported on brain research that suggests reading about an experience is almost the same as the experience itself.  This is an intriguing finding, but it raises questions.  If true, what are the implications for firsthand learning, which in most cases involves significantly more time and effort than simply reading about an experience?  Is there evidence that direct encounters with the real world produce learning that is in any way better than watching movies or reading books?

The piece is available at the following URL:

Please feel free to comment and review other ideas at:

Friday, March 16, 2012

The value of learning from direct experience

Kudos to Bill Rogers, Director of Out-of-School Programs for spotting this article in Science News. It describes research that provides hard evidence of the educational value of firsthand learning.

What other evidence exists? Please post your comments and suggestions.