Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Research on the Extent of Active Learning - Merbitz's PSI Plug

Some blog followers might be interested in “Research on the Extent of Active Learning – Merbitz’s PSI Plug” [Hake (2011b)]. The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: In “Re: Research on the Extent of Active Learning” [Hake (2011a)] at http://bit.ly/u63GbO, I stated “the glacial inertia of the educational system, though not well understood, appears to be typical of the slow Diffusion of Innovations [Rogers (2003)] in human society.”

SClistserv's Chuck Merbitz (2011) responded (paraphrasing): “I'm not surprised at the glacial pace or the burial of innovations: 20 years ago Sherman (1992) reviewed the ‘Personalized System of Instruction (PSI)’ a highly effective innovation published most famously 43 years ago by psychologist Fred S. Keller (1968) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_S._Keller in 'Goodbye, teacher....' . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In her book Mastery Learning in the Science Classroom: Success for Every Student, Kelly Morgan (2011)] speculates that PSI is not widely used because *its very success at teaching students was a factor in its abandonment* - it upsets the social structure when too many learners master the material, a finding that has been replicated in the precision teaching world http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precision_teaching. . . . .[[My Insert: “and in the physics education world http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physics_education”]]. . . . ."

For another take on the demise of PSI see “The rise and fall of PSI physics at MIT” [Friedman et al. (1976)] at http://bit.ly/vMlEdD. For the burial of innovations see, e.g., “Re: Interactive Engagement Has Many Forms” [Hake (2005] at http://bit.ly/voy3vd.

To access the complete 17 kB post please click on http://bit.ly/sD6S9f.

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)

Links to Articles: http://bit.ly/a6M5y0
Links to SDI Labs: http://bit.ly/9nGd3M
Blog: http://bit.ly/9yGsXh
Academia: http://iub.academia.edu/RichardHake

“And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain of success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience with them. Thus it happens that whenever those who are hostile have the opportunity to attack they do it like partisans, whilst the others defend lukewarmly....”
Machiavelli (The Prince, 1515)

“The PRIMA FACIE AFFRONT: Whereas I have spent a significant fraction of my professional life perfecting my lectures and otherwise investing conscientiously in the status quo, therefore to suggest an alternative is, by definition, to attack me.”
Halfman et al. (1977)

REFERENCES [All URL’s shortened by http://bit.ly/ and accessed on 6 Dec 2011.]
Hake, R.R. 2011a. “Re: Research on the Extent of Active Learning,” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at http://bit.ly/u63GbO. Post of 4 Dec 2011 19:01:51-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post were transmitted to several discussion lists and are also on my blog “Hake'sEdStuff” at http://bit.ly/tMRRqi with a provision for comments.

Hake, R.R. 2011b. “Research on the Extent of Active Learning – Merbitz’s PSI Plug” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at http://bit.ly/sD6S9f. Post of 6 Dec 2011 15:09:34-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists.

Halfman, R., M. L.A. MacVicar, W.T. Martin, E.F. Taylor, & J.R. Zacharias. 1977. “Tactics for Change.” MIT Occasional Paper No. 11; online at http://bit.ly/s8z5xL. Thanks to John Belcher for placing this gem on the web.

Machiavelli, N. 1515. The Prince, translated by W.K. Marriott, online at http://bit.ly/vXOWVU thanks to the Constitution Society.

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