Pedagogical method to help teach students the nature of scientific thought (and I would argue critical thinking in general). Students must fight Confirmation Bias by actively seeking out and noting experiences that don't match expectations.
The things recorded can be quite simple:
Moment of surprise: I was making french fries, and had forgotten to listen to my mom about lowering the heat, so I burned them.
Why it was surprising: That same day I had been very confident with my cooking, and told my brother I didn’t make cooking mistakes.
What this tells me: I should probably start listening to my mom, when it comes to cooking.
However, the process has outsize effects on classroom culture:
For Toft himself, the biggest surprise was how the experiment changed the way his students reacted to their own mistakes in class. “In the class culture, acknowledgement that you are mistaken about something has become dubbed a ‘moment of surprise’ (followed by a student scrambling to retrieve their journal to record it),” he wrote to me. “As this is much more value-neutral than ‘I screwed up,’ the atmosphere surrounding the topic is less stressful than in previous years.”
Article references Issac ASimov's famous quote: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny ...’ "