Message to and from Dr. Kirschner

“…Based on our current knowledge of human cognitive  architecture, minimally guided instruction is likely to be  ineffective. The past half-century of empirical research on  this issue has provided overwhelming and unambiguous  evidence that minimal guidance during instruction is  significantly less effective and efficient than guidance  specifically designed to support the cognitive processing  necessary for learning.”


Kirschner, P. A., Sweller, J., & Clark, R. E. (2006). Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: An analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching. Educational Psychologist, 41(2), 75-86.




Dr. Kirschner,

Your article focuses on a  "precise" definition of constructivist.  I like the view of constructivism that asks the student to create his own view of the world rather than simply receive and regurgitate the instructor's view of the world.  However, the description of constructivism that you, Sweller and Clark present seems extreme.  

YUZENAS VIDEO showing a constructivist classroom...



I submit to you a short video of Dennis Yuzenas in his middle school class asks his students to be aware of how their thinking is changing.  He gets them to think about their world view (paradigms) and guides them toward independent work.  He's not pushing them into "the deep end of the pool" without teaching them to swim.


Would you agree that Yuzenas is not a strict constructivist in your use of the word?


Thank you for your time.  ... and for the chance to discuss the topic of "what works."  I really like project-based curricula, and I think your article is NOT speaking against such curricula, but rather against unfettered, unguided classes....





Steve McCrea
graduate student
Fort Lauderdale FL  



======== 

His reply

From: Kirschner, Paul <Paul.Kirschner@ou.nl>
Date: Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 3:00 PM
Subject: RE: request by grad student in USA.... what is your opinion of the method of Dennis Yuzenas?
To: "eddsteve@gmail.com" <eddsteve@gmail.com>


Steve,
 
First off, constructivism is a philosophy and not an pedagogy or a theory of instruction. We all create our own world and see things based upon what we know. This is non-contestable.
 I cannot judge either a person, her or his way of working, nor its worth based upon 9 minutes (and neither should you). I see a person letting kids muddle through a project using computers. What they learn, how much they learn, what the role of this 9 minutes of pedagogy is within the whole of a curriculum, and so forth does not give me a clue to either what this is all worth or whether he is or is not a strict constructivist.
 
Please don't take the following analogy in the wrong way, but I'm sure I could find 9 minutes of Adolf Hitler petting his dog and having dinner with friends, and if you ask me - based upon the footage - if Hitler was a monster in the strict sense of the word, what would I then have to answe?

Best regards,

paul

Prof. dr. Paul A. Kirschner 
Professor of Educational Psychology 
Chair of the Learning and Cognition Programme 
  Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies (CELSTEC) 
  Open Universiteit Nederland 
  http://celstec.org 
President of the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) 
AERA Fellow 
www.tensteps.info 
http://www.ou.nl/eCache/DEF/18/176.html 
P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail



Van: Steve McCrea [mailto:happymathteacher@gmail.com
Verzonden: vrijdag 24 juni 2011 15:36
Aan: Kirschner, Paul
CC: Steve McCrea
Onderwerp: request by grad student in USA.... what is your opinion of the method of Dennis Yuzenas?

“…Based on our current knowledge of human cognitive  architecture, minimally guided instruction is likely to be  ineffective. The past half-century of empirical research on  this issue has provided overwhelming and unambiguous  evidence that minimal guidance during instruction is  significantly less effective and efficient than guidance  specifically designed to support the cognitive processing  necessary for learning.”


Kirschner, P. A., Sweller, J., & Clark, R. E. (2006). Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: An analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching. Educational Psychologist, 41(2), 75-86.




Dr. Kirschner,

Your article focuses on a  "precise" definition of constructivist.  I like the view of constructivism that asks the student to create his own view of the world rather than simply receive and regurgitate the instructor's view of the world.  However, the description of constructivism that you, Sweller and Clark present seems extreme.  

YUZENAS VIDEO showing a constructivist classroom...



I submit to you a short video of Dennis Yuzenas in his middle school class asks his students to be aware of how their thinking is changing.  He gets them to think about their world view (paradigms) and guides them toward independent work.  He's not pushing them into "the deep end of the pool" without teaching them to swim.


Would you agree that Yuzenas is not a strict constructivist in your use of the word?


Thank you for your time.  ... and for the chance to discuss the topic of "what works."  I really like project-based curricula, and I think your article is NOT speaking against such curricula, but rather against unfettered, unguided classes....



Steve McCrea
graduate student
Fort Lauderdale FL  



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