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[Phys-l] Educational Research: Fresh Air or Phlogiston? #3

On 24 October 2010 I transmitted the abstract and a link to a Net-Gold post titled "Educational Research: Fresh Air or Phlogiston? #2." Because the AERA discussion-list server was down during the period 22-25 October 2010, that post failed to appear on the AERA-L archives at <>.
As of today, 26 October 2010, the AERA-L archive server is back in operation. I've transmitted to both AERA-L and Net-Gold an improved and expanded version "Educational Research: Fresh Air or Phlogiston? #3" [Hake (2010)] of the previous post.

The abstract reads, as before:

ABSTRACT: In "Coming Up for Air: But Is It Oxygen or Phlogiston? A Response to Taber's Review of 'Constructivist Instruction: Success Or Failure?' "<>, David Klahr extols the lucidity of Keith Taber's review "Constructivism and Direct Instruction as Competing Instructional Paradigms: An Essay Review of Tobias & Duffy (2009)" <>, but then makes four claims that diverge from the tenor of Taber's review, the first three of which are:

(1) "When Theories Compete, There Is Ultimately A Winner,"

(2) "Operational Definitions Are Crucial," and

(3) "Multi-Attribute Comparisons Are Possible."

In my view, taking the above claims in order:

(1') In areas that are conceptually difficult (e.g., Newtonian mechanics) the winner is "Interactive Engagement" ("IE" - "constructivist"-like) over "Traditional" ("T" - "instructionist"-like) pedagogy - both "IE" and "T" as *operationally defined* in Hake (1998, <>),

(2')"Education Research Employing Operational Definitions Can Enhance The Teaching Art" [Hake (2010), <>], and

(3') Convincing multi-attribute comparisons <> have shown an approximately two-standard deviation superiority in average normalized gains <g> for "IE" over "T" courses.

To access the complete 30 kB post "Educational Research: Fresh Air or Phlogiston? #3" please click on <>.
Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands
President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References which Recognize the
Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)

"Physics educators have led the way in developing and using objective tests to compare student learning gains in different types of courses, and chemists, biologists, and others are now developing similar instruments. These tests provide convincing evidence that students assimilate new knowledge more effectively in courses including active, inquiry-based, and collaborative learning, assisted by information technology, than in traditional courses."
Wood & Gentile (2003)

"There is substantial evidence that scientific teaching in the sciences, i.e., teaching that employs instructional strategies that encourage undergraduates to become actively engaged in their own learning, can produce levels of understanding, retention and transfer of knowledge that are greater than those resulting from traditional lecture/lab classes. But widespread acceptance by university faculty of new pedagogies and curricular materials still lies in the future. . . . . We conclude that widespread promotion and adoption of the elements of scientific teaching by university science departments could have profound effects in promoting a scientifically literate society and a reinvigorated research enterprise."
Robert DeHaan (2005)

REFERENCES [All URL's accessed on 24-26 October 2010; URL's shortened by <>.]
DeHaan, R.L. 2005. "The Impending Revolution in Undergraduate Science Education," Journal of Science Education and Technology 14(2): 253-269; the abstract and first page are online at <>.

Hake, R.R. 2010. "Educational Research: Fresh Air or Phlogiston? #3" online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at <>. Post of 26 Oct 2010 12:10:04 -0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The link to this post is being transmitted to a few discussion lists, including Phys-L and PHYSOC. The link and the abstract are online on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at <> with a provision for comments.

Wood, W.B. & J.M. Gentile. 2003. "Teaching in a research context," Science 302: 1510; 28 November; online to subscribers at <>. A summary is online to all at <>.