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Ep 2. Evidence-based teaching strategies with Paul Kirschner

The transcript for this episode is here.

You can listen to the episode here: Chalk & Talk Podcast.

Paul Kirschner’s blog


Books on teaching and learning


Kirschner, P., & Hendrick, C. (2020). How Learning Happens: Seminal Works in Educational Psychology and What They Mean in Practice (1st ed.). Routledge.


Kirschner, P., Hendrick, C., & Heal, J. (2022). How Teaching Happens: Seminal Works in Teaching and Teacher Effectiveness and What They Mean in Practice (1st ed.). Routledge.


Explicit instruction techniques


Clark, Richard & Kirschner, Paul & Sweller, J.. (2012). Putting students on the path to learning: The case for fully guided instruction. American Educator. 36. 6-11.


Rosenshine, Barak. (2012).  Principles of instruction: Research-based strategies all teachers should know. American Educator. 36.: 12-19.


Worked example effect


Gog, T. v., Rummel, N., & Renkl, A. (2019). Learning how to solve problems by studying examples. In J. Dunlosky & K. A. Rawson (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of cognition and education (pp. 183–208). Cambridge University Press.


Desirable difficulties (spaced practice, retrieval practice, interleaving, contextual interference, reducing feedback)


Bjork, Elizabeth & Bjork, Robert. (2011). Making things hard on yourself, but in a good way: Creating desirable difficulties to enhance learning. Psychology and the Real World: Essays Illustrating Fundamental Contributions to Society. 56-64.

Making things hard on yourself but in a good way:  creating desirable difficulties to enhance learning


Engagement is a poor proxy for learning


Slides from Robert Coe:


Inaugural Lecture Robert Coe:


Myth:  Discovery learning (inquiry-based learning) is the best way to learn


Paul A. Kirschner, John Sweller & Richard E. Clark (2006) Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential, and Inquiry-Based Teaching, Educational Psychologist, 41:2, 75-86,


Kirschner, P. A. (2009). Epistemology or pedagogy, that is the question. In S. Tobias & T. M. Duffy (Eds.), Constructivist instruction: Success or failure? (pp. 144–157). Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.


Mayer RE. Should there be a three-strikes rule against pure discovery learning? The case for guided methods of instruction. Am Psychol. 2004 Jan;59(1):14-9. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.59.1.14. PMID: 14736316.


Myth: You learn to solve problems by problem-solving

Sweller, J., Clark, R., & Kirschner, P. A. (2010). Mathematical ability relies on knowledge, Too. American Educator, 34(4), 34-35.


Sweller, J. & Clark, R. & Kirschner, P. (2011). Teaching general problem solving does not lead to mathematical skills or knowledge. European Mathematical Society Newsletter. 79.

Chi, M. T. H., Feltovich, P. J., & Glaser, R. (1979). Categorization and representation of physics problems by experts and novices. Cognitive Science 5, 121-152. Available from:

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