Looks Like Bridge, but it is Really Learning

One of my bridge, the card game, partners recently made a bid which was correct but in the wrong context.

She has the knowledge of the bid and what it means but was using it in the wrong place. She had 2 pieces of knowledge but did not have the required understanding to realise what her bid meant in that circumstance. She had the knowledge but not the understanding.

I have been thinking about this difference, knowing and understanding, for a while and how one moves from knowing to understanding. Checking understanding is reasonably easy – in the bridge context we just see if the bids are correct in the context of the bridge conversation, which clearly describes the cards one holds. Understanding is best checked in context, by application – by doing. Preferably in as close a situation to the “real” context as possible.

So in thinking about how to move from my partner’s current knowledge to understanding three things are needed:

Additional knowledge – what is the context in which the bid is the correct bid?

Additional knowledge – why is the bid she made no accurately describing her hand in the context she made the bid?

Additional knowledge – that bidding is a conversation and she needs to think about what her bid says to me,not just remember, misremember, a rule for bidding.

And to secure that understanding we need practice in a real bridge game.

That’s a good model for learning, I believe.

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