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Gambling to promote learning?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by monicabilongame, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    What planet is this stupid stupid man on?


    Does he - a neuro-scientist - not understand that it is exactly the dopamine rush that accompanies the risk factor involved in gambling that gets people addicted? Not to education, but to gambling? And has he not seen the devastating effects that a gambling addiction can have on people and their families?

    Paul Howard-Jones, professor of neuroscience and education at the University of Bristol, believes, therefore, that the majority of lessons, in all subjects, should be taught using computer gambling games.

    Using brain-imaging technology, Professor Howard-Jones examined the effects of a gambling-based rewards system on 24 postgraduate students. Competing against one another in teams of three, the students were awarded points for each question they answered correctly.

    They then spun a "wheel of fortune", which offered them a 50-50 chance of either doubling their points or losing all of them.

    Professor Howard-Jones found that the area of the students’ brains that indicates distraction and inattention – “When they stopped thinking about the test they were being asked to do, and started thinking about what’s for dinner tonight” – was rarely active while they played the game.

    By contrast, the brain’s dopamine responses – usually associated with more visceral pleasures, such as good food or sex – were generated by the game’s level of risk and reward.

    It will now be rolled out to classrooms across the country: 10,000 Year 8 pupils will spend a year learning science using Professor Howard-Jones’s wheel-of-fortune game.

    Great. Fantastic. Not only is he teaching the next generation how to become addicted to gambling, he's probably also making impossible for them to learn in more traditional ways by using things like concentration and reflection and just plain hard work!
  2. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    He was on the BBC news this morning. When asked directly whether this would eliminate the need for face-to-face teaching he described a situation not a million miles from a casino pit with a croupier.

  3. indusant

    indusant Senior commenter

    Surely the 'high' will wear off after a short period of time anyway. Then what happens? Bigger and better thrills? Higher stakes? Where will it end?

    It's dangerous as children may feel the need to replicate these thrills in real life. The consequences can ruin lives. It's good for the plot of a Scorsese movie, not for education.
  4. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Exactly. The dopamine 'high' stops being high enough and then the need arises to get higher 'highs' or repeat them more frequently. It's a recipe for disaster.
  5. misterroy

    misterroy New commenter

    The prize size has to be random, sometimes there will be no prize. It works with my dog.
  6. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Like smoking, gambling is a nasty vice, with no redeeming features. Many years ago betting shops had the view through their doors obscured so that decent folk were less likely to be enticed into these dens of iniquity. Now, of course, we are bombarded with adverts on the TV that encourage us to gamble, and often portray it as sophisticated and glamorous. Encouraging children to gamble is a new low. Gambling ruins many people's life. As far as I'm concerned the only way it should be encountered in school is in probability lessons that clearly demonstrate how the punter is always a loser.
  7. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    I bet my pension this all turns out to be rubbish.
    Rubbish was not my first choice of noun.
    FrankWolley likes this.

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