Edited by Marta Sinclair
Paola Iannello, Alessandro Antonietti and Cornelia Betsch Teaching is conceived traditionally as a process in which teachers proceed step by step so as to make explicit the contents and procedures that students are asked to learn. In turn, students are expected to master such contents and procedures in an explicit way with the help of teachers’ actions. That is, students should be able to analyse what they have learned and identify the procedures necessary to process the contents properly. If we define intuition as a mental act that occurs quickly in the student’s mind, yields direct evidence and does not require (or requires only limited) awareness of the way s/he reasoned or the need to have the reasons leading to a given conclusion clear in mind (Hogarth, 2001; Khatri & Ng, 2000; Parikh, 1994; Stanovich & West, 2002), one might be inclined to believe that intuition plays a subordinate role in the teaching process. In fact, teachers should not lead learners to grasp concepts or apply procedures in an intuitive manner – that is, in an immediate and automatic way – because this is not the goal of instruction under the assumption that true knowledge can be articulated and supported by arguments. Moreover, intuition even seems to be a misleading teaching approach. The naive conceptions held by students before becoming involved in the teaching process are usually grounded on intuitions they have about reality. Such conceptions are often wrong and need to be restructured through conceptual changes; and some authors argue that this process...
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