Monday, July 25, 2011

Re: Ashamed it is physicists and not learning scientists!

Some blog followers might be interested in a discussion-list post “Re: Ashamed it is physicists and not learning scientists!” [Hake (2011)].

The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: A NYT report on a Science article “Improved Learning in a Large-Enrollment Physics Class” [Deslauriers, Schelew, & Wieman (2011)] carried a remark by James Stigler: “the study is an important step in a journey that is long overdue, given the vast shortcomings of education as usual. I think that the authors are pioneers in exploring and testing ways we can improve undergraduate teaching and learning,” he said. “As a psychologist, I'm ashamed that it is physicists who are leading this effort, and not learning scientists.”

Stigler's comment elicited this lament from physics education research (PER) pioneer Robert Fuller: “Should someone at UCLA tell Stigler that physicists have been doing this type of research at least since Karplus and Arons in the 1960's?”

To access the complete 12 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)

“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)

REFERENCES [URL’s shortened by and accessed on 25 July 2011.]
Hake, R.R. 2011. “Re: Ashamed it is physicists and not learning scientists!” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at 25 Jul 2011 16:13:10 -0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold.

Wood, W.B., & J.M. Gentile. 2003. “Teaching in a research context,” Science 302: 1510; 28 November; an abstract is online at .

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