Key Note – Dr Gustav Kuhn

Learning at City Conference 2021

Enhancing student engagement through magic

Magicians perform tricks that baffle and amaze and they allow you to experience the impossible. In the MAGIC-lab we investigate the psychological mechanisms that underpin these magical experiences to gain insights into the human mind. Magicians have gained much experience in misdirecting people’s attention, and in this talk I will examine how magic tricks can be used to enhance student engagement. The first section will examine the impact that watching and learning to perform magic can have on people’s engagement in learning, self-esteem, creativity, and general belonging. In the second part I will demonstrate how misdirection can be used to enhance your student’s engagement in the learning material. This section provides lots of hands-on tip and tricks about how magic principles can be implemented in the teaching environment.


A photo of Dr Gustav Kuhn doing a card trickDr. Gustav Kuhn is a Reader in Psychology at Goldsmiths University of London, and the director of the MAGIC-Lab (Mind Attention and General Illusions in Cognition). His research examines a wide range of psychological questions, around consciousness, attention, perception, magical beliefs, deception, free will. He is also a practicing magician and the founding president of the Science of Magic Association.

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