Friday, December 27, 2013

How to teach intuition

Reading the book "Farewell to Reality" by Jim Baggott one finds the following quote by Einstein about the development of natural laws: "There is no logical path to these laws; only intuition, resting on symphathetic understanding of experience, can reach them".
So when we teach science there are really two elements that have to be addressed, on the one hand one has to teach ideas and their historical development; but on the other hand can we teach "intuition"? Many science teachers will say that what we do is teach "problem solving skills" which sounds very logical and sensible and in many cases happens to be the kind of skill that anybody will need in their professional activities. But also again and again history has shown how new concepts and innovations have been developed by not following procedures stated and regulated by a set of skills learned.
So my question is how do we teach students "intuition"?

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