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Productive Failure by Prof Manu Kapur


Event details

Date and time 20.02.2017 11:3012:30  
Place and room
Speaker Manu Kapur is currently Professor and Chair of Learning Sciences and Higher Education at ETH Zurich Prior to joining ETH Zürich, he was a Professor of Psychological Studies at The Education University of Hong Kong (EduHK). Manu also worked as the Head of the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Academic Group (CTL AG) as well as the Head of Learning Sciences Lab (LSL) at the National Institute of Education (NIE) of Singapore. An engineer by bachelors training, Manu was a pre-university mathematics teacher for five years before receiving his doctorate in instructional technology and media from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York, where he also completed a Master of Science in Applied Statistics. He also has a Master of Education from the NIE. Early in his academic career, Manu directed a $50m interactive and digital media R&D program at the Ministry of Education of Singapore to jumpstart research on interactive and digital media in education in Singapore.
Category Conferences - Seminars

If learning from failure is intuitively compelling, why don’t we intentionally design for and bootstrap it for learning? My research on Productive Failure (PF) aims for precisely that by engaging students in solving novel, complex problems that target concepts they have not learnt yet. Invariably, students are unable to solve the problem correctly. However, to the extent students are able to generate and explore multiple representations and solutions even if the solutions are suboptimal or incorrect, the process prepares them to learn subsequent instruction. Through concrete examples of how PF works, I will illustrate the underlying learning mechanisms of PF, together with evidence from experimental and quasi-experimental studies demonstrating the efficacy of PF in developing deep conceptual knowledge and transfer. We will finish with a group discussion of implications for theory and practice.

Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Free