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Robert Gagne

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  • jdempsey12345
    I m sorry to report the death of Bob Gagne who was perhaps the most prominent academic in the field of instructional design as it came into its own in the last
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2002
      I'm sorry to report the death of Bob Gagne who was perhaps the most
      prominent academic in the field of instructional design as it came
      into its own in the last half of the twentieth century. He profoundly
      influenced hundreds of individuals, both personally and
      professionally. Throughout his long career he insisted on the
      importance of theory and research driving the profession. Gagne was
      well known for his nine events of instruction, theory of the learning
      hierarchy of intellectual skills, and taxonomy of learning outcomes.
      Bob's health had been failing for the past 6 or 8 months. He was in
      hospice care for the past 4 months. He died peacefully in his sleep
      last Sunday with his wife, Pat, at his side.
      On a personal level, Bob had a demeanor like John Houseman, the
      actor. Like that gentleman, Gagne would frequently challenge your
      ideas—sometimes with emotions that were startling. On a few occasions
      when I was a student and asked him to help me understand certain
      concepts, he'd send me a pile of zeroxed journal articles to read and
      invite me to eat a brown bag lunch together. He's then grill me on
      what I thought about what I read and argue with me until he felt the
      cheese curls in my stomach were in danger of erupting and he was
      comfortable that I was defending my assertions adequately. After a
      particularly good work-over on schema theory one day, I remember him
      sitting back in his chair and smiling. "OK," he said, "that's all we
      can discuss about that theory today. Let's talk about rock `n roll.
      As you know I detest it and am trying to understand why people seem
      to like it. I've decided that the electric guitar is the essential
      attribute. What do you think?"
      Dr. Gagne was on our first advisory board for the USA IDD doctoral
      program and met with Dean Uhlig and Dr. Morrow to discuss its
      direction. Whenever I saw him, he was always interested in our
      program and asked detailed questions about it. His advice regarding
      our program almost always centered on maintaining a strong theory
      base in educational psychology and instructional design and insisting
      on academic integrity.
      He was a good man. A lot of us will miss him.

      Part of the obituary in today's Tallahassee Democrat (FL) is included

      Robert Mills Gagne Robert Mills Gagne, 85,
      who was a leader in the fields of educational psychology and
      instructional design, died Sunday, April 28, 2002, in Signal
      Mountain, Tenn. He is survived by his wife, Harriet Gagne of Signal
      Gagne was born in 1916 in North Andover, Mass. After
      receiving his bachelor of arts degree from Yale University in 1937,
      he went to Brown University to earn a doctoral degree in
      experimental psychology in 1940. He spent much of his 50-year career
      in academic positions at Connecticut College for Women (1940);
      Princeton University (1958 to 1962); University of California at
      Berkeley (1966 to 1969); and Florida State University (1969 to
      1985). From 1962 to 1966, he was director of research at the
      American Institutes for Research in Pittsburgh, Pa. Gagne also spent
      a good portion of his career working on military training problrms.
      During World War II, Gagne served as an aviation psychologist,
      developing tests for classification of air crew. From 1950 to 1958,
      he was technical director for Lackland and Lowry Air Force
      Laboratories, where he conducted numerous studies of human learning
      and performance. At the end of his career (1990-91), he worked on
      instructional design models for military training at Armstrong Air
      Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. During his career, Gagne never
      wavered from the idealistic vision of psychology that he expressed
      in his 1932 valedictory speech at Johnson High School In North
      Andover, in which he said that the science of psychology should be
      used to relieve the burdens of human life. His research and writing
      focused on how principles of human learning, established through
      scientific research, could be applied in education and training. He
      wrote five editions of a seminal book called "The Conditions of
      Learning" and also wrote numerous other books on principles of
      learning and instructional design. Gagne was a member of Phi Beta
      Kappa and Sigma Xi and was a Fellow of the American Association for
      the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Education. In
      recognition of his contributions, Gagne received many honors
      including the Phi Delta Kappa Award for Distinguished Educational
      Research from the American Educational Research Association and the
      Distinguished Scientific Award for Applications of Psychology from
      the American Psychological Association.
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