According to a recent article published in Science Daily, it could be a good thing.
It explains about a new study being led by Sidney D’Mello, a psychologist and computer scientist based at the University of Notre Dame which shows that confusion when learning can be beneficial if properly induced, regulated and resolved.
My understanding of the article is that he is not talking about intentionally confusing a person while they are learning but the type of confusion that arises when we are learning new concepts. Most people have experienced those moments of ‘I don’t get it’ when learning, for it to later ‘sink in’ upon revisiting the subject or having it explained in a different way. D’Mello says, “We have been investigating links between emotions and learning for almost a decade, and find that confusion can be beneficial to learning if appropriately regulated because it can cause learners to process the material more deeply in order to resolve their confusion.”
What I think he is talking about is that the brain during this time of confusion is laying down new pathways. Think about it this way, if you wanted to create a new path across a garden, would it be easier to do so where an existing path is or to create an entirely new route? When we learn a totally new concept we are creating a pathway across new brain patterns and the confusion is just the result of these new connections being formed.
So the next time you are learning something new and are finding the concepts confusing, remember the confusion is a good thing, it’s just your brain processing the information more deeply and making new connections.
If you would like to read the full article then go to Science Daily by clicking on the link here.