Sunday, October 21, 2012

Physics Education Researchers Respond to “Science Educators Also Under Fire By Traditionalist Math Warriors”

Some blog followers might be interested in a recent post “Physics Education Researchers Respond to ‘Science Educators Also Under Fire By Traditionalist Math Warriors’ ” [Hake (2012)]. The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: Indicated below are reactions of three physics education researchers to evidence [Hake (2012a)] at that science educators, in addition to mathematics educator Jo Boaler, have been “Under Fire By Traditionalist Math Warriors” (double asterisks **. . . .** surrounding URL’s indicate that access may require “obtaining a new Listserv password”):

1. John Belcher at **** wrote "I don't know whether to laugh or cry" in reaction to Robert Hansen's comment at "These poor bastards [the Hakes and Boalers] are pandering to social elements, not mathematics. . ." Although Hansen's comments are certainly laughable, Belcher may have cause to cry - as co-author of the influential "How Does Technology-Enabled Active Learning Affect Undergraduate Students' Understanding of Electromagnetism Concepts?", Belcher's largely to blame for the fact that "At M.I.T., Large Lectures Are Going the Way of the Blackboard" Therefore Belcher could well be next on the Bishop/Clopton/Milgram hit list.

2. Antti Savinainen at **** wrote (liberally paraphrasing): “All this reminds me of Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming Scientific debate is fine, but it should take place in peer-reviewed journals, not in newspapers or personal websites as described in the above book and is the case for Bishop/Clopton/Milgram.”

3. William Robertson at **** wrote, regarding Savinainen’s “peer reviewed journals”: “anyone who thinks the peer review process in journals is divorced from scientific and personal biases is naive, and has likely never gone through the process.” I agree but reluctantly concede that peer review is probably necessary but certainly not sufficient to promote the integrity of the literature.

To access the complete 18 kB post please click on

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Links to Articles:
Links to Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs:

REFERENCES [All URL’s shortened by and accessed on 21 Oct 2012.]

Hake, R.R. 2012. “Physics Education Researchers Respond to ‘Science Educators Also Under Fire By Traditionalist Math Warriors’, ” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at Post of 21 Oct 2012 13:59:06-0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists.

No comments: