Is learning by trial and error a valid way of learning?

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Kuma
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15 Aug 2010, 8:39 am

Yes, it is. The question, however, is one of efficiency and efficacy. Should the child be naturally intelligent, he will be curious. He will notice all things around him and will see patterns, correlations, and anomalies. He will be able to establish causation naturally. He will rarely need to learn through trail and error as he will have foresight.

To learn something through trail and error...I don't feel is efficient...unless the child can generalize the lesson and apply it to a larger group of thought. It is, otherwise, a way to learn how to NOT do something...there are an infinite number of ways to do something wrong.

Now, if we are talking about running mental trail and error experiments...that is a part of forethought. Having to experiment on something that had adequate evidence at hand and to not be able to figure out a correct path ahead of time is only an exercise in a method of learning for future situations where adequate evidence is not at hand. Learning through trail and error is more accidental I would think (we are talking children here...not part of the scientific method).

To learn through exploration of a successful person's method and examples of successful strategies in life is an effective and efficient way to learn. As one goes through life...many lessons present themselves (so long as the child questions the process in an attempt to delve into the methods or reasons used to establish cause and effect). To ignore those lessons is to ignore experience in life. I think that learning through exploration comes about naturally. All a child needs is opportunity. Yes, playing with children of equal cognitive capability is important...however...being with children of higher capabilities would benefit the child much more I would think.


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BTDT
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15 Aug 2010, 12:17 pm

Trial and error can a be quite useful when learning to build things. In practice, there are often just a few practical options at hand--it can be very effective to try a few and see what happens. Trying to intellectually figure out what will happen can be an exercise in frustration--sometimes even the experts don't know--or need resources/skills way beyond what the average person has available to figure out.



Willard
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15 Aug 2010, 2:00 pm

Social skills, for someone with AS are only learned by trial and error. There is no other effective method. We don't pick them up by watching, and 'taught' behavioral lessons will leave us unsure of how to apply those lessons in adaptive situations. We simply have to experience an interaction, sometimes in multiple instances to find coping mechanisms that work for us as individuals.



bjtao
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15 Aug 2010, 10:18 pm

One of the test results of my son's neuro visit showed that my son does trial and error rather than planning and thinking in advance. I had never noticed this before. I think it is OK if the child can learn from the trial and error of one situation and see how it could apply elsewhere. If the information learned from trial and error cannot be applied, it is like repeating the same thing over and over and over again.



Kuma
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16 Aug 2010, 9:35 am

This is one of the areas that my wife has been working on since he was diagnosed. He has improved dramatically. She has him read books and asks him what has transpired....what he thinks will transpire...and how he thinks he could do better in the given situation. She works on it every night during his bedtime reading ritual.


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DandelionFireworks
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16 Aug 2010, 10:12 pm

Everyone learns a lot through trial and error. It's a major way of learning for everyone.

NTs generally happen to have certain knowledge without needing to use trial and error. However, I bet you still had to practice to polish those skills to a mirror shine.


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