2-2018 Teaching by misleading

A good teacher never misleads his/her students. Right ? Wrong ?

As a teacher, I often ask questions in the class, basically to nudge and provoke my students to think. Sometime these questions have a misleading hint, just to confuse the student and lead him/her to the right concept. My favourite one is in my class on "number theory" when I wave my palm with all fingers open, and ask the question "show me the number five". The students invariably fall for the visual cue (my open palm) and fumble around, till I emphasise that a number is only an abstraction and cannot be used/shown all alone. I feel that such (misleading) prompting questions can often be useful in the classroom. But, this should be done in moderation and very carefully.

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