Friday, September 13, 2013

Re: Are Tenure Track Professors Better Teachers?

Some blog followers might be interested in a recent post “Re: Are Tenure Track Professors Better Teachers?” [Hake (2013)]. The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: Scott Jaschik (2013) in his Inside Higher Ed report “The Adjunct Advantage” at has pointed to “Are Tenure Track Professors Better Teachers?” [Figlio et al. (2013) at In my opinion, the latter's attempt to indirectly measure students’ learning in introductory courses by means of their next-class-taken performance is problematic at best.

Unfortunately, most of academia is either unaware or dismissive of the direct gauging of students’ higher-order learning by means of pre/post testing with Concept Inventories, pioneered independently by economist Rendigs Fels (1967) at and physicists Halloun & Hestenes (1985a) at

For a discussion of pre/post testing with Concept Inventories, see e.g., “Should We Measure Change? YES!” [Hake (2013)] at For recent use of this method see “The Calculus Concept Inventory - Measurement of the Effect of Teaching Methodology in Mathematics” [Epstein (2013) at

To access the complete 12 kB post please click on .

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
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“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.”
- William Wood & James Gentile (2003)

REFERENCES [URLs shortened by and accessed on 13 Sept. 2013.]
Hake, R.R. 2013. “Re: Are Tenure Track Professors Better Teachers?” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at Post of 13 Sep 2013 16:41:24-0400 to AERA-L and NetGold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to various discussion lists.

Wood, W.B., & J.M. Gentile. 2003. “Teaching in a research context,” Science 302: 1510; 28 November; online as a 213 kB pdf

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