Thursday, December 9, 2010

Latest Doceamus against inquiry-based learning

Some blog followers might be interested in a recent post “Latest Doceamus against inquiry-based learning” [Hake (2010)]. The abstract reads:


ABSTRACT: A recent thread “Latest Doceamus against inquiry-based learning” on the “Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education” (RUME) list has discussed an article by Sweller, Clark, & Kirschner (SCK) (2010) titled “Teaching General Problem-Solving Skills is Not a Substitute for, or a Viable Addition to, Teaching Mathematics” and published in the November 2010 issue of Notices of the AMS.

Math-problem guru Alan Schoenfeld wrote: “Sweller and colleagues set up a straw man, the notion of ‘general problem solving’ as a counterpoint to mathematical knowledge [but] there are techniques of mathematical problem solving, and there’s plenty of evidence that students can learn them, so the opposition Sweller and colleagues use to frame their paper is nonsensical. . . . .”

Sweller and colleagues have previously set up straw men - the title of their tract “Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential, and Inquiry-Based Teaching” invokes the straw men “Minimal Guidance” and “Failure” but critics of Sweller et al. point out that these methods are generally neither: (a) “un-guided or minimally guided,” nor (b) “failures.”


To access the complete 23 kB post 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)

REFERENCES [URL shortened by and accessed on 08 December 2010.]

Hake, R.R. 2010. “Latest Doceamus against inquiry-based learning,” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at . Post of 8 Dec 2010 19:58:52-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being distributed to various discussion lists.

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