Teach magic lessons in school, says professor

From The Guardian: Teach magic lessons in school, says professor.

The trick to making primary school children more confident and sociable is to teach them magic, claims Professor Richard Wiseman, psychologist at the Open University.

At the British Association for the Advancement of Science in Liverpool yesterday, he reported the results of his study of 50 pupils at two Hertfordshire schools, which compared his “magic school” lesson with a standard personal, social and health education (PSHE) lesson currently used to promote good health, confidence and social skills.

"Showing and teaching the children magic tricks encourages skills, such as self-discipline — unless you practice magic skills you will fail — and critical thinking. It also helps children to think from another person’s perspective, and consider how they are feeling," said Wiseman, who compared the increase in sociability and confidence of the children, aged 10 to 12, at the JFK school and the Wroxham School in Potter’s Bar. [continue]