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Published in Learning Matters

Fully Guided Instruction Works Best

I had the honour of working online with the great cognitive science researcher, Paul Kirschner, this past week in creating visuals of one of his many seminal papers.

The background research

This is the infographic that is based on Paul’s lead article Putting Students on the Path to Learning: The Case for Fully Guided Instruction which appeared in the American Educator, in its 2012 Spring edition. You can download it here.

It is, itself, a popular and shortened version of the seminal 2016 article by the three authors titled: Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential, and Enquiry-Based Teaching. It was published in Educational Psychologist 41, no. 2 (2006): 75-86.

The infographic

What next?

I have heard, over the past few years, many calls to make research more accessible to busy teachers — especially the vast majority who do not participate on Twitter. This is my first such proper attempt, in collaboration with the researcher involved.

I am contacting Paul Kirschner’s fellow author of this article, professor John Sweller to capture visually his ground-breaking cognitive load theory. I’ll keep you all updated on this venture. If other researchers and professors are half as helpful and cooperative as professor Paul Kirschner, then teaching will make great strides in making itself more evidence-literate.

UPDATE: I have received an email from John Sweller agreeing to collaborate on my visualisation of his theory. What a coup! The beginning of many more such depictions of important research teachers should know about (but don’t have the time to read through).