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Out of curiosity: do you mean that you give students credit for professing that they will find out? Or do you have them take the problems home sometime later, look things up, do the work, and then give them half the points back? Because I have seen the latter work very well, while I would see the former as once again asking students to put down what their teachers want to hear.

In my own experience, this can work well in a small group with engaged students. I had an excellent optics class where we would try to derive a known result as a group: the professor would explain the experiment, draw a picture, and then ask us to help. If we got him going, he would take a few steps, then ask again. Now, I remember next to nothing of equations for optics, but I have a very good idea of how to go about figuring out the outcomes for various experiments theoretically.

On the other hand, I've had professors stop referring to notes partway through a derivation or proof, get dreadfully confused, and simply frustrate themselves and their students. So this may be an all-or-nothing: for a given day or proof or class, either do a group derivation or present the material on a platter.

I will say that I also had a high school English teacher who would use the wrong word or give a ridiculous interpretation in the hopes that a student would correct him and learn to not always trust authority. I liked the theory, but in practice it meant that the attentive students had to do work that was frequently repetitive and irritating, such as correcting word choice or grammar (as these were students who were already thinking) while those who could learn most from such a lesson never noticed it.

Hi! My name is Jay, I'm 20ish, and I study mathematics and physics. I found this through HPMOR which came to me as a recommendation from another physicist.

I'm interested in learning logic, winning arguments, and being better able to understand philosophical debates. I'll be starting by going through the major sequences, as that seems generally recommended.

I have a blog, A Model of Reality , whose name seems particularly amusing now. It is so called because my main interest in scientific research is to improve the models for predicting reality (eg how corn flows out of a silo, how cracks propagate in a material, and why classical physics is frequently good enough)

ttfn -Jay