Posted by: Alexandre Borovik | September 15, 2008

The magic wand of education: criteria

BBC published a news report Magic ‘boosts pupils’ confidence’:

Children taught how to do magic tricks instead of attending standard personal and social education lessons perform better socially, a psychologist says.

Magic requires self-discipline and an ability to empathise with your audience, Prof Richard Wiseman told the British Association Science Festival.

His team thinks it could help with bullying and aggressive behaviour.

He has tested it by teaching magic tricks to children aged 10 to 12 in Herefordshire.

My personal take at that story is that stage magic has very clear and easy to internalise criteria of success, of a well performed trick.  I heard similar stories about personality-buliding effects of sailing and rock-climbing. And scuba diving. I invite the reader to continue the list…

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Responses

  1. I wonder if this also has the effect of teaching critical thinking skills, since the students will see firsthand how easy it is to do something that seems impossible, and how easily people are fooled.

  2. A very good point.

  3. My personal take at that story is that stage magic has very clear and easy to internalise criteria of success, of a well performed trick. I heard similar stories about personality-buliding effects of sailing and rock-climbing.


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