A leading professor of psychology is advocating that schoolchildren should be taught Harry Potter-style magic tricks to build their social confidence. Professor Richard Wiseman, a skilled illusionist and member of the Magic Circle, said his research with 10 to 12-year-olds showed that mastering card tricks and rejoining severed ends of rope were more effective than standard classes in personal, social, health and economic education, which are designed to help children deal responsibly with life issues such as drugs and sex.

“Magic School was far more effective than the existing self esteem and confidence lesson. I think there are all sorts of reasons for this. Learning magic requires self-discipline, an understanding of how other people think, and an ability to entertain. Also, unlike playing computer games, it encourages children to interact with their friends and family,” said Prof Wiseman. Among other benefits of magic were that it inflamed children’s imagination. Of course it also involves deception and outright lies, but presumably those things would be up for discussion in the prof’s magic school. ~ The Telegraph (UK), Sep 11

 

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet