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WHY EDUCATIONAL INNOVATIONS FAIL: AN INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCE PERSPECTIVE

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Educational innovations often burst onto the scene and are widely adopted. Later they are abandoned in frustration and disillusionment in favor of some new nostrum. In this paper the arguement is that this problem is rooted in the failure of researchers to control for important individual difference variables, such as personality. Two educational movements are examined. One, operant instruction, was popular in the past but is currently out of fashion. The other, cooperative learning, is a current favorite of many educators. Cooperative learning has been widely embraced as a superior teaching method, but a note of caution is sounded and it is suggested that because most educational research does not control for individual differences sweeping conclusions about the universal superiority of any instructional innovation must be suspect.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2005

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