Substantive Educational Change is in the Palm of Our Children’s Hands

Authored by: Cathleen A. Norris , Elliot M. Soloway

Handbook of Mobile Learning

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415503693
eBook ISBN: 9780203118764
Adobe ISBN: 9781136311536


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We have known for more years than we might care to admit (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000) what a classroom should look like in order for substantive learning to take place. However, instead of a learn-by-doing pedagogy (aka project-based learning, inquiry-based learning, active learning, etc.), didactic pedagogy/direct instruction still rules the land. Whether it is a teacher at the front of the room expounding, or a Khan video expounding, or an electronic whiteboard instead of a blackboard at the place of the expounding, or even if the students can immediately respond to the expounding with a clicker—that is still direct-instruction pedagogy, and we all know that direct-instruction pedagogy, although useful in places, ought not to be the overwhelmingly dominant pedagogy. So, why hasn’t this pedagogy been replaced by the better, learn-by-doing pedagogy?

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