Finding a middle ground: Wars never settle anything

Paul A. Kirschner, Kristine Lund

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


    Researchers and other academics working in the educational and the learning sciences seem to be perpetually caught up in paradigm wars. Recently one of the authors wrote an editorial for the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (Kirschner, 2014) on how paradigms mutate into paradogmas. It was triggered by an email from an American PhD student whose manuscript was rejected by a well-known and respected journal as being out of its scope because it dared take a direct instruction stance on learning in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)! Though it is our hope and assumption that this is an outlier, we see the fights that lie at the basis of such behavior almost daily. Constructivists are at war with instructivists and/or cognitivists (depending on whether you are talking about an educational/learning approach or the paradigm on which it depends), proponents of traditional mathematics at all educational levels are at war with the proselytizers for real or reform mathematics as both a philosophy and a curriculum approach (actually known as the “math wars”; see http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Math_wars), phonics advocates are at war with the whole language advocates about how best to teach/learn reading, and so forth. These wars have an adverse effect on the sciences themselves, on education in general, and on the use of technologies to foster effective, efficient, and enjoyable education and learning
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Sciences of Learning and Instructional Design
    Subtitle of host publicationConstructive Articulation Between Communities
    EditorsLin Lin, J. Michael Spector
    Place of PublicationNew York
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Electronic)9781315684444
    ISBN (Print)9781138924314
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • paradigm
    • Paradogma
    • education
    • learning


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