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[Net-Gold] More Difficult to Read Text Leads to Better Retention #2

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  • David P. Dillard
    . Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2010 13:32:35 -0700 From: Richard Hake Reply-To: Net-Gold@yahoogroups.com To: EDDRA2@yahoogroups.com Cc:
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2010
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      Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2010 13:32:35 -0700
      From: Richard Hake <rrhake@...>
      Reply-To: Net-Gold@yahoogroups.com
      To: EDDRA2@yahoogroups.com
      Cc: AERA-L@..., Net-Gold@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Net-Gold] More Difficult to Read Text Leads to Better Retention #2




      If you reply to this long (12 kB) post please
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      ****************************************



      ABSTRACT: In response to my post "Re: More
      Difficult to Read Text Leads to Better Retention"
      EDDRA2's Keith Baker wrote :



      "Bad fonts slow down reading which means that
      info has longer to get processed into long term
      memory which improves memory of the info. . . . .
      . . CP Snow was right. There is no need for
      physicists to reinvent the wheel psychology
      discovered 100 years ago if there is good
      education."




      Two points:




      1. I wonder if Baker could tell us *what* he
      thinks was C.P. Snow
      <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._P._Snow> was
      right about?




      2. Regarding physicists "reinventing the wheel
      psychology discovered 100 years ago":



      a. The article "Fortune Favors the Bold (and the
      Italicized): Effects of Disfluency on Educational
      Outcomes" [Oppenheimer et al. (2010)] was
      authored by *psychologists* at Princeton and
      Indiana University.



      b. Considering the probable insignificance of
      "difficult-to-read fonts" to higher-order
      learning relative to "interactive engagement"
      [Benezet (1935, 1936), Hake (1998a,b)], is the
      emphasis on fonts actually a flat tire rather
      than a wheel? - see the signature quote.




      ****************************************




      In response to my post "Re: More Difficult to
      Read Text Leads to Better Retention" [Hake
      (2010)], Keith Baker (2010) - aka "kb0000" -
      wrote [bracketed by lines "BBBBB?."; my insert at
      ". . . . [[insert]]. . . . . }:



      BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB


      Bad fonts . . . .[more precisely
      "difficult-to-read fonts"]]. . . . slow down
      reading which means that info has longer to get
      processed into long term memory which improves
      memory of the info. The same can be better
      accomplished by reading good fonts and taking
      notes -- write down the important points on a
      piece of paper. While doing that, time is
      allowed for the point to get solidly moved into
      long term memory. When finished reading, tear up
      the notes and throw them away. They are not for
      review. Their only worthwhile purpose is to slow
      down the input of new info so it has time to got
      consolidated into long term memory.



      CP Snow. . . . .[[(1959)]]. . . . was right.
      There is no need for physicists to reinvent the
      wheel psychology discovered 100 years ago if
      there is good education.



      BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB




      Two points:




      1. I wonder if Baker could tell us *what* he
      thinks was C.P. Snow
      <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._P._Snow> was
      right about?



      2. Regarding Baker's statement: "There is no need
      for physicists to reinvent the wheel":



      a. The article "Fortune Favors the Bold (and the
      Italicized): Effects of Disfluency on Educational
      Outcomes" [Oppenheimer et al. (2010)] was
      authored by *psychologists* at Princeton and
      Indiana University.



      b. Considering the probable insignificance of
      "difficult-to-read fonts" to higher-order
      learning relative to "interactive engagement"
      [Benezet (1935, 1936), Hake (1998a,b)], is the
      emphasis on fonts actually a flat tire rather
      than a wheel? - see the first signature quote.






      Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
      Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands
      President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References which Recognize the
      Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)
      <rrhake@...>
      <http://www.physics.indiana.edu/~hake>
      <http://www.physics.indiana.edu/~sdi>
      <http://HakesEdStuff.blogspot.com>
      <http://iub.academia.edu/RichardHake>





      "It seems that in education, the wheel (more
      usually the flat tire) must be reinvented every
      few decades"
      Lee Shulman, as paraphrased by the late Arnold Arons (1986, p. 24):





      "A good many times I have been present at
      gatherings of people who, by the standards of the
      traditional culture, are thought highly educated
      and who have with considerable gusto been
      expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of
      scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked
      and have asked the company how many of them could
      describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The
      response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I
      was asking something which is about the
      scientific equivalent of: 'Have you read a work
      of Shakespeare's?' I now believe that if I had
      asked an even simpler question - such as, What do
      you mean by mass, or acceleration, which is the
      scientific equivalent of saying, 'Can you read?'
      - not more than one in ten of the highly educated
      would have felt that I was speaking the same
      language. So the great edifice of modern physics
      goes up, and the majority of the cleverest people
      in the western world have about as much insight
      into it as their Neolithic ancestors would have
      had."
      - C.P. Snow (1959)





      REFERENCES [All URL's shortened by
      <http://bit.ly/> and accessed on 31 October 2010.]





      Arons, A. B. 1986. "Conceptual difficulties in
      science," in M.R. Rice, ed. "Undergraduate
      education in chemistry and physics," Proceedings
      of the Chicago conferences on liberal education,
      No. 1, (pp. 23-32). Chicago: University of
      Chicago.



      Baker, K. 2010. "Re: Re: More Difficult to Read
      Text Leads to Better Retention," EDDRA2 post of
      29 October 11:17 pm (Yahoo fails to indicate the
      time zone); online at <http://yhoo.it/akR0Sz>.



      Benezet, L.P. (1935, 1936). "The Teaching of
      Arithmetic I, II, III: The Story of an
      Experiment." Journal of the National Education
      Association 24(8): 241-244 (1935); 24(9): 301-303
      (1935); 25(1): 7-8 (1936). The articles (a) were
      reprinted in the Humanistic Mathematics
      Newsletter 6: 2-14 (May 1991); (b) are on the web
      along with other Benezetia at the Benezet Centre
      <http://bit.ly/926tiM>. See also Mahajan & Hake
      (2000).



      Hake, R.R. 1998a. "Interactive-engagement vs
      traditional methods: A six thousand- student
      survey of mechanics test data for introductory
      physics courses," Am. J. Phys. 66(1): 64-74;
      online as an 84 kB pdf at <http://bit.ly/d16ne6>.
      As indicated in Hake (2008), subsequent research
      of many other investigators is consistent with
      the results of this work: a two-standard-
      deviation superiority in pre-to-posttest average
      normalized gains <g> of heavily guided,
      constructivist-like, "interactive engagement"
      (IE) methods over "traditional" (T) passive-
      student methods in introductory mechanics
      courses, where both IE and T methods are
      operationally defined in Hake (1998a).



      Hake, R.R. 1998b. "Interactive- engagement
      methods in introductory mechanics courses,"
      online as a 108 kB pdf at
      <http://bit.ly/aH2JQN>. Submitted on 6/19/98 to
      the Physics Education Research Supplement (PERS),
      but rejected by its editor on the grounds that
      the very transparent Physical Review-type data
      tables were too complex! A crucial companion
      paper to Hake (1998a).



      Hake, R.R. 2008. "Design-Based Research in
      Physics Education Research: A Review," in Kelly,
      Lesh, & Baek (2008; pp. 493-508). A
      pre-publication version of Hake's chapter is
      online as a 1.1 MB pdf at <http://bit.ly/9kORM >.



      Hake, R.R. 2010. "Re: More Difficult to Read
      Text Leads to Better Retention," online on the
      OPEN! AERA-L archives at <http://bit.ly/cZ9xHe>.
      Post of 31 Oct 2010 17:14:33-0700 to AERA-L,
      Net-Gold, and PhysLrnR. The abstract and link to
      the complete post were transmitted to various
      discussion lists and are also on my blog
      "HakeEdStuff" at <http://bit.ly/b9Zxhg> with a
      provision for comments.



      Mahajan, S. & R.R. Hake. 2000. "Is it time for a
      physics counterpart of the Benezet/Berman math
      experiment of the 1930's?" Physics Education
      Research Conference 2000: Teacher Education,
      online at <http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0512202>.



      Oppenheimer, D.M., C.D. Yauman, & E.B. Vaughn.
      2010. "Fortune Favors the Bold (and the
      Italicized): Effects of Disfluency on Educational
      Outcomes," online at <http://bit.ly/cATcBK>.



      Snow, C.P. 1959. "The two cultures and the
      scientific revolution,"online as a scanned 2.2 MB
      pdf at <http://bit.ly/d5UrZs>. Available in a
      1993 "Canto" edition tiled "The Two Cultures,"
      illustrated by Stefan Collini and published by
      Cambridge University Press. Amazon.com
      information at <http://amzn.to/aJSlyd>; note the
      searchable "Look Inside" feature. Publisher's
      information at <http://bit.ly/dhQZWX>: "The
      notion that our society, its education system and
      its intellectual life, is characterized by a
      split between two cultures--the arts or
      humanities on one hand, and the sciences on the
      other--has a long history. The reissue of 'The
      Two Cultures' and its successor piece, 'A Second
      Look' (in which Snow responded to the controversy
      four years later) has a new introduction by
      Stefan Collini, charting the history and context
      of the debate, its implications and its afterlife.




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