Why some things don’t work and how we can make them work

3-Star learning experiences

Paul A. Kirschner & Mirjam Neelen

We’re both quite cynical and critical people (although we’re nice as well, most of the time). We also value nuance. So when we make an argument and later we realise that the subject’s more nuanced, we course-correct. That’s why we wrote this blog. In 2015, we wrote ‘Learning the Smart Way’, in which we discussed a top 5 (effective) and a flop 5 (ineffective) learning strategies.

After some long and hard thinking, as well as reviewing some new evidence, we’d like to bring some nuance into the discussion. Nothing is absolute; everything is relative. Just about anything we do as teacher or instructional designer will work somewhere in some situation with someone. On the other hand, nothing that we can do works everywhere with everyone. When we choose to use the microwave oven, the efficacy of our microwaving depends on what we want…

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Teachers say they’re pushed to pass students who skipped class all year — SIS

Susan Edelman and Melissa Klein: Administrators at a Queens high school are demanding that teachers pass undeserving students – including some they’ve never even seen, fed-up educators told The Post. The teachers at William Cullen Bryant High School in Long Island City say the pressure comes as the school year is about to end and they are…

Teachers say they’re pushed to pass students who skipped class all year — SIS

Autism miracle cures, non FC-edition — Catherine & Katharine

Most of the autism miracle cure memoirs I’ve read recently have been about kids who are purportedly unlocked through some form of facilitated communication. But there’s another variety out there involves kids who appear to undergo genuine recoveries: e.g., Let Me Hear Your Voice and The Boy Who Loved Windows.  Yet, even in these memoirs, […]

Autism miracle cures, non FC-edition — Catherine & Katharine

Authentic learning moments promote transfer to the workplace

Guest blog by Sofie Willox This article was originally published in Dutch in HR Magazine, March 2022. It discusses five dimensions that promote learning transfer based on our (Mirjam & Paul) book “Evidence-Informed Learning Design – Creating Training to improve Learning Design”. To what extent do people actually apply what they’ve learned in a workplace […]

Authentic learning moments promote transfer to the workplace — 3-Star learning experiences

Bulletproof Student Desks

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

I watched a brief video of students participating in an active shooter drill in which they turned their desks sideways to scrunch behind (head still showing) and held their textbooks (hands and arms exposed) over their faces.


So, I googled, “bulletproof student desk” to see what I found. No one can argue that there is a market for such an item in These United States.

Sure enough, I found several sites, beginning with this one, for Indianapolis-based Creative Industries, which offers Bulletproof Furniture for Schools.

I give you the Bulletproof School Desk:

From the ad:

Facing the Reality of School Shootings

As every parent surely knows, the tragedy of school shootings is an all-too-common occurrence in today’s world. Even one such incident is too many but think about another number: 312. There have been 312 school shootings in the United States since 2013. (Schneider’s note: 2021 copyright date…

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10 ways to deal with stakeholders’ beliefs in learning

3-Star learning experiences

Mirjam Neelen & Paul A. Kirschner

Before we dive in here, we need to give some credit to the person who inspired our approach and the style of this blog: Japke-D Bouma (Twitter handle: @japked). She’s a Dutch journalist who writes a regular column in NRC (a Dutch newspaper) on baffling jargon, work, and career. We’re both fans of her!

Stakeholders[1]! The people we need, love, sometimes love to hate, and who sometimes also drive us bonkers. We want to please them, make them happy, have them love us. We want to go out of our way to delight them. After all, they’re our customers. But man! They can sometimes really get in the way when it comes to actually designing useful learning experiences[2] so that people actually can do their jobs better.

Of course, we don’t mean their reality – urgency, budget, limited resources, data restrictions…

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Autism and Theory of Mind: a critique of Gernsbacher & Co

Catherine & Katharine

(Cross-posted at FacilitatedCommunication.org)

In a series of occasional posts that start today, I’ll be going through a half dozen articles co-authored by Morton Gernsbacher, a psycholinguist at the University of Wisconsin. Collectively these articles attempt to present evidence for the redefinition of autism upon which the plausibility of FC depends: namely, the notion that autism is not (despite eight decades of research to the contrary) a socio-cognitive disorder, but rather a motor disorder. More specifically, autism is, purportedly, a disorder in which intentional motor movements, including speaking and pointing, are difficult or impossible to perform.

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Traffic noise slows children’s memory development, study finds

Pupils’ vital attention skills stunted by ‘toxic’ peaks of road noise heard from the classroomRoad-traffic noise significantly slows the development of crucial memory and attention skills in primary school children, research has found.The study of almost 2,700 children aged between seven and 10 in 38 schools in Barcelona, Spain, is the first to assess the…

Traffic noise slows children’s memory development, study finds — Education | The Guardian

Metaphors in autism: even when unfacilitated, they’re within reach

Facilitated communication has extracted all sorts of figurative language from minimally-speaking autistic individuals, for example, this, from Deej: The ear that hears the cardinal / Hears in red; The eye that spots the Salmon / Sees in wet My senses always fall in love / They spin, swoon; They lose themselves in / one another arms. […]

Metaphors in autism: even when unfacilitated, they’re within reach — Catherine & Katharine

Cheating at School is a Better Idea Than Ever

With absolutely no apologies to The Wall Street Journal. A year of absolute, unprecedented bullshit has spurred an eruption of cheating among students, from grade school to college. With many students isolated at home over the past year—and with the pointless grind of school revealed for what it truly is—academic dishonesty has never been such […]

Cheating at School is a Better Idea Than Ever — SLIME MOLD TIME MOLD