[Net-Gold] Re: Gurung and Schwartz Book

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[Net-Gold] Re: Gurung and Schwartz Book

David P. Dillard


Date: Sun, 12 Jul 2009 15:48:00 -0700
From: Richard Hake <[hidden email]>
Reply-To: [hidden email]
To: [hidden email]
Cc: [hidden email], [hidden email]
Subject: [Net-Gold] Re: Gurung & Schwartz Book

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ABSTRACT: Craig Nelson, in a POD post, wrote "Optimizing Teaching and
Learning: Practicing Pedagogical Research" [Gurung & Schwartz (2009)]
is an especially good introduction to college teaching. . . .It is
also a nice introduction to classroom research and the Scholarship of
Teaching and Learning." Unfortunately the book, typical of those from
the Psychology/Education/Psychometric (PEP) community, fails to give
academic references to the pioneering work of prominent Physics
Education Researchers Arons, Hestenes, Karplus, McDermott, Mazur,
Redish, Reif, and Wieman.


Craig Nelson (2009), in his POD post titled "Gurung & Schwartz Book," wrote:

"['Optimizing Teaching and Learning: Practicing Pedagogical Research'
[Gurung & Schwartz (2009)] is an especially good introduction to
college teaching. The main title is quite accurate. It is also a nice
introduction to classroom research and SOTL. . . .[Scholarship of
Teaching and Learning]. . . .  I will find it useful. I think that it
will be of immense help in leading faculty from an interest in
improving their teaching to an interest in really finding out what is
happening in their classes and making it better."

After such a glowing testimonial, I thought that here, at last, might
be a book on teaching and learning from members of the
Psychology/Education/Psychometric community that includes the
important work of Physics Education Researchers (PER's).

So I searched for the names of some prominent PER's: "Arons,"
"Hestenes," "Karplus," "McDermott," "Mazur," "Redish," "Reif," and
Wieman in Amazon's "Look Inside" (Gurung & Schwartz, 2009) feature at
<http://tinyurl.com/ksua4l>. All gave zero hits except for "Hestenes"
whose name appears on page 3 in this cogent (if ill-referenced)

"A number of different academic areas explore pedagogical research
with an emphasis from the fields of education and psychology and the
work of a wide array of scholars (e.g., Entwistle, HESTENES-Hake,
Huber, Perry, Shulman). Just as a rose by any other name is a rose,
so too research on teaching and learning is still essentially
*pedagogical research*, no matter what discipline the research is
based in. In many disciplines, the methodologies formerly used by
faculty for research are now recognized as valuable resources to
assess methods of teaching.  This transformation has only slowly
emerged over the past decade but is spreading and growing
exponentially, as general questions of inquiry lead to more and more
refined questions."

But, although psychologists Gurung & Schwartz (2009) include acsdemic
references on pages 207-221 to the work of Entwistle, Huber, Perry,
and Shulman (and mention in passing the "Force Concept Inventory"
[Hestenes et al. (1992) on page 75), they omit academic references to
the work of physicists Hestenes and Hake, perhaps considering their
work - like that of physicists Arons, Karplus, McDermott, Mazur,
Redish, Reif, and Wieman - to be too inconsequential to merit

For those who may wish to supplement Gurung & Schwartz (2009):

a. Online articles on education by Hestenes can be found at


and those by Hake at


b. References to Arons, Karplus, McDermott, Mazur, Redish, Reif, and
Wieman can be found by typing each of those names into the "string"
slot of the  powerful but seldom used POD search engine at
<http://listserv.nd.edu/cgi-bin/wa?S1=pod> to obtain the following
numbers of hits (as of 12 July 2009 14:10:00-0700): Arons (87),
Karplus (21), McDermott (99), Mazur (174), Redish (174), Reif (33),
and Wieman (64), most of them contained in POD posts by Hake.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
24245 Hatteras Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands.
<[hidden email]>

"Unknown to many university faculty in the natural sciences,
particularly at large research institutions, is a large body of
recent research from educators and cognitive scientists on how people
learn [Bransford et al. (2000)]. The results show that many standard
instructional practices in undergraduate teaching, including
traditional lecture, laboratory, and recitation courses, are
relatively ineffective at helping students master and retain the
important concepts of their disciplines over the long term. Moreover,
these practices do not adequately develop creative
thinking,investigative, and collaborative problem-solving skills that
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 [Tiny URL's courtesy <http://tinyurl.com/create.php>.]
Bransford, J.D., A.L. Brown, R.R. Cocking, eds. 2000. "How people
learn: brain, mind, experience, and school." Nat. Acad. Press; online
at <http://tinyurl.com/apbgf>.

Gurung, R.A.R. & B.M. Schwartz. 2009. "Optimizing Teaching and
Learning: Practicing Pedagogical Research." Wiley-Blackwell.
Publisher's information at
Amazon.com information at <http://tinyurl.com/ksua4l>. Note the
searchable "Look Inside" feature.

Hestenes, D., M. Wells, & G. Swackhamer. 1992. "Force Concept
Inventory," The Physics Teacher 30(3): 141-158; online at
<http://modeling.asu.edu/R&E/FCI.PDF> (100kB) [but without the test
itself]. The 1995 revision by Halloun, Hake, Mosca, & Hestenes is
online (password protected) at the same URL, and is currently
available in 16 languages: Chinese, Czech, English, Finnish, French,
German, Greek, Italian, Malaysian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian,
Spanish, Slovak, Swedish, & Turkish.

Nelson, C.E. 2009. "Gurung & Schwartz Book," POD post of 12 Jul 2009
10:38:45-0400; online on the OPEN! POD archives at

Wood, W.B., & J.M. Gentile. 2003. "Teaching in a research context,"
Science 302: 1510; 28 November; online to subscribers at
<http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/302/5650/1510.pdf>. A summary
is online to all at