Beyond Bits and Atoms – Week 7 – Reading Notes

Kirschner, P. A., Sweller, J., & Clark, R. E. (2006). Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: An analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching. Educational psychologist,41(2), 75-86.

  • We need guidance to learn – unsupervised learning = cognitive overload
    • “Although unguided or minimally guided instructional approaches are very popular and intuitively appealing, the point is made that these approaches ignore both the structures that constitute human cognitive architecture and evidence from empirical studies over the past half-century that consistently indicate that minimally guided instruction is less effective and less efficient than instructional approaches that place a strong emphasis on guidance of the student learning process. The advantage of guidance begins to recede only when learners have sufficiently high prior knowledge to provide “internal” guidance. Recent developments in instructional research and instructional design models that support guidance during instruction are briefly described.” (Kirschner, Sweller, & Clark, 2006)
    • “Even for students with considerable prior knowledge, strong guidance while learning is most often found to be equally effective as unguided approaches.”(Kirschner, Sweller, & Clark, 2006) 

Papert, S. (1987). Computer criticism vs. technocentric thinking. Educational researcher,16(1), 22-30.

  • Technocentrism – the belief that technology alone will educate.
    • “Do Not Ask What Logo Can Do To People, But What People Can Do With Logo”. (Papert, 1987)
    • “The challenge to school, in its traditional forms, cannot be made by simply dumping computers and computer languages, however well designed, into classrooms.” (Papert, 1987)
  • ExperLOGO – too fast, not geared for learners
    • “At the core of the process of design is the art of trade-off. If you want more speed, you have to take less of something else. Observing what a design team finds worth giving up is a window into its aesthetics and its intellectual values.” (Papert, 1987)

Pea, R. D. (1983). Logo Programming and Problem Solving.[Technical Report No. 12.].

  • Logo is cool but needs to be implemented carefully
    • “The pedagogical fantasy (e.g., Byte, August 1982; Papert, 1980)–that Logo can serve as a stand-alone center in classrooms for learning programming and thinking skills does not work. Teacher training will be necessary for programming skills to develop very far, and problem-solving skills may need to be taught directly rather than assumed to emerge spontaneously from learning Logo.” (Pea, 1983)
  • Did not show increase in planning skills (planning skills = wrong measure!?)
    • “After a year’s experience of programming in Logo, following the discovery-learning pedagogy advocated for Logo, two classes of 25 children (8- to 9-year-olds, 11- to 12-year-olds), each with six computers, did not display greater planning skills than a matched group who did not do Logo programming.” (Pea, 1983)
  • Children had a hard time explaining lines of code they copy/pasted – little transfer
    • “A second was the fact that some children did not understand conditional test statements in these programs even though they had written programs that contained them. This is a robust finding, as other studies with these children have shown; the children’s programs often displayed production without comprehension, in that programming constructs such as variables, test statements, or even simple commands like “repeat” may have been used in one program, but not understood in another.” (Pea, 1983)
  • Was the research wrong or the learning objectives wrong?
    • “But we have deep doubts, based on a series of empirical studies over an 18-month period, that the Logo ideal is attainable with its discovery-learning pedagogy.” (Pea, 1983)