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  • #16
    I always viewed the references as being part of the "explain".

    For many skills, I think that using "explain" as a step by itself, before the first demo, seems pretty useless. Trying to explain three-dimensional movements to someone without using a demo...that cannot possibly be the most effective way.

    Check out this glossary of instructional strategies to see a huge number of ways of approaching instruction: http://www.beesburg.com/edtools/glossary.html

    Here's a book used by a graduate school:
    Title: Designing Effective Instruction
    Author: Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M. & Kemp, J. E.
    ISBN: 0-471-21651-8
    Edition: 4th, 2004
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

    Another:
    Effective Instructional Strategies: From Theory to Practice By Kenneth D. Moore

    Some psychomotor skills need to be built up as a sequence of more fundamental movements. In those cases, you'd want to spend time working on each of the fundamental items before working to combine them (think swimming, for example).

    I don't think there are going to be any meaningful studies of EDGE as an instructional strategy. Your mileage may vary.

    I do agree it's a reasonable way to teach some basic skills, but I'm not sure I'd drill on it. It's not like this method is a fundamental method of teaching.

    Comment


    • #17
      A good teacher, like a good coach, will have many teaching methods at their disposal and attempt to customize the method that works best for the student. Now in a class room environment (meaning multiple students simultaneously, not necessarily in a class room) - using the EDGE method is fine.

      Reminds me of my Calculus teacher in college. He got our attention when he stated that math is like sex, you don't learn it by observing, you learn by doing. (He demonstrated part of the Training EDGE!).


      You know experts who object to Explain, Demonstrate, Guide and Enable or who think it is useless?

      http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/26-242.pdf(This message has been edited by acco40)

      Comment


      • #18
        Their first example of EDGE in that presentation link, starting on page 11, uses a completely worthless first Explain step. In fact, the point there appears to be that explaining is not an effective step and you have to follow it up with a demo. I say, why even use the explain step here? You should just start with the demo.

        There are certainly times when I've seen some ineffective ASMs not be able to get a concept across. Some of them seem to think that Explain/Enable covers it. "I told you how to build a fire. You should be able to get yours going now. You must not be doing it right, the way I explained." Those people could certainly use a reminder that demonstrating and guiding are useful steps.

        Comment


        • #19
          I just don't see the whole objection to it. It's fundamentally sound.

          And yeh base that statement on ... what, exactly?

          A colleague in education pointed me to the Dept. of Education clearinghouse of "What Works" in education based on sound research (http://ies.ed.gov). The practice guide for teachin' techniques that they offer there doesn't seem to correspond very well to EDGE. Here's what it has for recommendations:

          1) Space learning over time. Arrange to review key elements of content after a delay of several weeks to several months after initial presentation. EDGE: Fail. Nuthin' like that in EDGE, though it's interestin' that I've seen several scouters here write about how they introduce this kind of delay when teaching or checking for advancement.

          2) Interleave examples with problem solving exercises. EDGE: Fail. EDGE proposes that yeh proceed linearly through the steps. First Explain, then Demonstrate, then Guide... The research says it works best if yeh interleave 'em, goin' back and forth.

          3) Combine graphics & demonstrations with verbal descriptions. EDGE: Fail. Again, research suggests that da best practice is to demonstrate and explain together, startin' with the demonstration which draws interest.

          4) Connect and integrate abstract ideas with concrete representations. EDGE: huh? This seems to be edu-speak for introduce the deeper concepts alongside the less abstract, concrete stuff. So introduce the deeper concept of physiological responses to injury when doin' more concrete first aid for shock. Nuthin' like that in EDGE.

          5) Use evaluation to promote learning. a) Start with pre-questions to introduce a new topic b) Use quizzes to re-expose and reinforce key content. EDGE: Fail. EDGE has nuthin' about how to use quizzes or evaluation, let alone suggesting you start by raising questions instead of explanations. BSA Advancement: Fail. Retesting is shown by the research to improve understanding and effective learning.

          6) Help students allocate study efficiently by assisting with evaluation and helping them learn how to judge how well they've learned. EDGE: Fail. Nothing in EDGE about helpin' students to reflect on what they know or how well they know it, and help 'em then focus on the things that need more work.

          7) Ask deep explanatory "hard" questions. Use instructional prompts that encourage students to pose and answer "deep-level" questions on the material. EDGE: Fail. Nothing in EDGE about this. BSA Advancement: Fail. The requirements are all simple-task oriented, and fail to push scouts toward deep understanding of da material.

          Yah, hmmm... So that's a 100% failure rate for EDGE when yeh look at what really works for teachin'. Doesn't strike me as fundamentally sound, but I'm only an amateur in da field.

          Beavah


          Comment


          • #20
            Beavah, that's a great website. (As a short cut, the report is at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/practiceguides/20072004.pdf)

            They critique all the actual research done to say which studies show which methods to be effective. It's exactly the kind of thing you'd want to see - and they come right out and list a whole bunch of things that aren't shown to have a positive effect.

            As for the specifics of whether EDGE follows the guidelines, I agree, it does not. I think if you combine the Explain and Demo phases, then EDGE meets #4, and if you use pictures during that combined phase, EDGE meets #3. For the interleaving in #2, I think that's necessary for any complex tasks. EDGE appears to be suited to very simple, straightforward tasks where the interleaving isn't necessary. In practice, people using EDGE will interleave when necessary. I think that they will also often combine E and D.

            The interesting thing about 5a) Start with quizzes is that that's how the BSA usually does a lot of their education. From The Trainer's Edge presentation, Letfs say I wanted to get the water from this glass [the full one] to this glass [the empty one]. What would I need to do? [Wait in silence for one or more answers.]and then there's Run a Team Buzz Group Activity
            Have teams select a scribe and take two minutes to write down their ideas on the following question.
            What prevents the learner from receiving the information?
            So we see that BSA isn't using EDGE even when it's teaching EDGE. This course doesn't appear to be structured like EDGE at all, actually.

            On point 6, evaluating themselves, The Trainer's Edge does that too, even while not teaching that it should be a part of the EDGE methodistribute the Communication Self]Assessment handout (see Handout page 52). Ask learners to take a few minutes to evaluate themselves using this list.I think that where BSA advancement really fails is on item 1, Space Learning over Time. Unless you artificially introduce a delay between having the student learn it and getting it checked, you get the typical "Learn it, check it off, forget it" advancement.

            Comment


            • #21
              The best possible example of EDGE in action is the Patrol Method presentation of Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Specific Training.

              What a perfect way to introduce a scholarly article on EDGE.

              Indeed, our nation's topmost experts on EDGE theory never EXPLAIN what the Patrol Method is, in fact they never mention a Patrol Leader once. These EDGE experts never DEMONSTRATE a working Patrol.

              So if the Patrol Method does not include Patrol Leaders and working Patrols, on what do these EDGE experts spend the entire 20 minute presentation EPLAINING and DEMONSTRATING?

              Adult Association and the EDGE Method!

              How utterly destructive.

              Yours at 300 feet,

              Kudu

              http://inquiry.net/leadership/index.htm

              Comment


              • #22
                Beavah wrote:

                "1) Space learning over time. Arrange to review key elements of content after a delay of several weeks to several months after initial presentation. EDGE: Fail. Nuthin' like that in EDGE, though it's interestin' that I've seen several scouters here write about how they introduce this kind of delay when teaching or checking for advancement."

                I'd see that as part of Enable. Enable is using the skill in real life situations. The only way to do that is to do it after a period of time. EDGE accounts.

                "2) Interleave examples with problem solving exercises. EDGE: Fail. EDGE proposes that yeh proceed linearly through the steps. First Explain, then Demonstrate, then Guide... The research says it works best if yeh interleave 'em, goin' back and forth."

                The above would be confusing when teaching a square knot.


                "3) Combine graphics & demonstrations with verbal descriptions. EDGE: Fail. Again, research suggests that da best practice is to demonstrate and explain together, startin' with the demonstration which draws interest."

                Well, the example of EDGE in the Trainer's EDGE PDF does include that. The Explain is not to explain all the steps in detailed order. The Explain is basically tell what you are learning. If I were teaching the tautline hitch using EDGE, I'd start with the problem of guylines losing tension. That would be my Explain. My Demonstration would be showing how to do the knot and how the knot works to do the above, depending on my circumstance, I might have a handout of how the hitch is tied/use the Handbood. My Guide would be to have the boys tie the hitch, and work with them doing it. My Enable would be to have the boys set up a dining fly using the tautline hitch at the next campout. Might also enable by having a competition on doing the hitch.

                http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/26-242.pdf

                "4) Connect and integrate abstract ideas with concrete representations. EDGE: huh? This seems to be edu-speak for introduce the deeper concepts alongside the less abstract, concrete stuff. So introduce the deeper concept of physiological responses to injury when doin' more concrete first aid for shock. Nuthin' like that in EDGE."

                Explanation and demonstration is the above.

                "5) Use evaluation to promote learning. a) Start with pre-questions to introduce a new topic b) Use quizzes to re-expose and reinforce key content. EDGE: Fail. EDGE has nuthin' about how to use quizzes or evaluation, let alone suggesting you start by raising questions instead of explanations. BSA Advancement: Fail. Retesting is shown by the research to improve understanding and effective learning."

                Enable is the above.

                "6) Help students allocate study efficiently by assisting with evaluation and helping them learn how to judge how well they've learned. EDGE: Fail. Nothing in EDGE about helpin' students to reflect on what they know or how well they know it, and help 'em then focus on the things that need more work."

                Again, part of Enable.

                "7) Ask deep explanatory "hard" questions. Use instructional prompts that encourage students to pose and answer "deep-level" questions on the material. EDGE: Fail. Nothing in EDGE about this. BSA Advancement: Fail. The requirements are all simple-task oriented, and fail to push scouts toward deep understanding of da material. "

                Not needed in motor skills, which is where EDGE shines (and where I see it appropriate for). What deep hard questions can you ask about tying a square knot?


                Also, where is the scholarly work to support the recommendations above?

                I would imagine it's about as vague as the work that supports EDGE.


                The problem is that you have set up your mind to what EDGE is, and you set up a strawman in your answers above.

                Below is a copy of the handout on the EDGE model from the above PDF, p. 50

                The EDGE Model
                Stages and Training Methods


                Explain
                √ Tell them (talk, audiotape).
                √ Give written instruction or explanation (paper, book, Web page).

                Demonstrate
                √ Show (include role plays, videos, computer animations).
                √ Do it yourself as they watch.
                √ Use a diagram.
                √ Tell a story (can be fictional or real‐life examples).

                Guide
                √ Watch them do it and give verbal hints and tips.
                √ Do it together (at the same time).
                √ Let them try it; then talk about it.
                √ Let them ask questions as they try it.

                Enable
                √ Give a memory aid.
                √ Give them a task that requires this learning.
                √ Ask them to teach someone the new learning.
                √ Give them the resources to do it again without you.
                √ Help them use the learning again in a new setting or situation.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Last part of handout:

                  "Summary
                  Did you notice how easy it might be to combine Explaining and Demonstrating at the same time? Or Demonstrating and Guiding? While we show EDGE as separate steps, one step easily flows to the next. In fact, they are connected, and you can combine steps to accomplish the learning objectives and goals. You may need to go back a step if they dont get it."


                  EDGE isn't just linear. It does involve going back and forth if needed.

                  As I've said before, it's not a perfect model, but it's not bad, and it's easy to remember. It's not as rigid as critics are making it out to be.




                  Comment


                  • #24
                    What deep hard questions can you ask about tying a square knot?

                    A little bit tangential, and I know it was rhetorical, but I'll take a shot.

                    Questions about the square knot:If you grab the ends of this knot and pull, will it hold together? Even if you're using slippery rope?What might make it hold better?What might make it hold worse?Can you tell the difference by looking at a thieves knot, a granny knot, and a square knot?Will this knot work well for connecting ropes of different sizes?Would this knot be easier to teach if the ropes were different colors?What places might you use this knot?Can this knot be tied with one hand?If you used this knot to tie something down, could you get the rope tight?Can you tie this knot blindfolded?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      perdidochas,

                      I don't disagree with you that EDGE in its most general form, as you list, does take into account at least #1, 2, and 3. I don't see anything about #4, 5, 6, or 7 - but I agree that there's nothing stopping you from adding these.

                      But here's the thing. If the EDGE method says that you can combine E and D, or D and G, and that you can move back a step if you need to, then there's not much left of EDGE - because EDGE, as listed, strongly implies a linear progression through the stages.

                      But now it's more like - here are the ways you might teach it:
                      EDGE - straightforward
                      (ED)GE - with E and D together
                      E(DG)E - with D and G together
                      [EDG|(ED)G|E(DG)][E|D|G]*E - Get through the first EDG with possible combined steps, and then follow optionally with any number of repetitions of the first three steps as necessary, and end with enable.

                      So the essence of EDGE at the end appears to be that you should have an Explain step, a Demo step, a Guide step, and an Enable step (and that you shouldn't do them backwards).

                      Since pretty much any teaching at all has to have the Explain step and is intended to get to the Enable step, all EDGE is really saying is that you should include a Demo and a Guide step.

                      That's true and useful, but pretty basic.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Again, good teachers utilize what works. Not everything is a one size fits all. I don't do well with demos. I'm not visual. I like to read instructions, not see someone else do something. Others are quite different.

                        Around here, the teaching community uses the term "Chicago math." It is a method that came out of the University of Chicago aand nationalized by McGraw-Hill. It is a controversial method. One of the methods it uses is the spacing that Beavah mentions (#1). Basically, the curriculum would introduce a concept probably way before the vast majority was able to understand it, re-introduce that concept 4 to 6 months later and again in another 4 to 6 months sometimes spanning up to three grade levels. While this was good for some, for others it created a great deal of stress.

                        For Scouts, I've heard the "well he hasn't really mastered a skill if he has just done it once" argument and while I agree that the skill might not have been "mastered", in my view the requirement has been met (i.e. tie a bow line). Is it helpful to reintroduce that concept again? Yes! Hey, Johnny, go help those Tenderfoots learn how to tie a bow line.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Peri - References are a fairly modern thing. They require written language. We've been teaching as a species long before we had writing. .... (I've seen no evidence that cave paintings were instructional.)

                          Well, since we don't know who was allowed to look at the paintings, we don't know how instructional they were. I'm only speculating there. So, yes as a species with implicitly EDGE-type methods, we all got along quite nicely before cuneiform. (at least until the ripe old age of 40, the half of us who didn't die in infancy, but who knew it there were ways to beat that gambit?)

                          Modern, as in civilization-as-we-know-it modern?

                          Just a generation (600 B.C.) before the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon, Josiah instuted what would later become the synagogue model of teaching young men in the absence of a temple. From that point forward Jewish (and Christian) history was riddled with the use of references for instruction.

                          Pliny the Elder's natural histories were so first century, but people refered to them. Lost to us was a treatise of his on "Throwing a Javelin from a Horse," but I'm pretty sure the Roman calvary gave it a read -- much to their enemies' dismay.

                          Arabs (and many other Eastern cultures) were very referential in their learning. (Read one or two Hadiith and you'll get the idea. Each is a saying so-and-so son of so-and-so brother of so-and-so heard from the Prophet.) They built hospitals and astrolabes and wrote travel documentaries and propogated symbolic arithmetic.

                          For Europe, on the other hand, it was The Dark Ages. Folks were mostly illiterate and taught non-referentially. Life was on the EDGE, literally. I'm pretty sure that I don't want to throw my kids back in the dark ages.

                          We teach our own kids skills (using similar methods to EDGE) long before they can use a reference.

                          Maybe until they're eight -- and that's only if we discount TV as a reference. After that they get a book from the library or an article online, and start explaining to ME what I should be doing!

                          I'll grant reference require's literacy. But I think that's the point. If a boy knows "reference" is an important part of teaching a skill, he'll know that his ability to read and interpret are important parts of learning a skill.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Yah, it's just amazin' all da things snake oil can be. . It magically expands to encompass any teaching technique yeh think is worthwhile. It's all part of "Enable", don't yeh see?

                            That's what's really great about simplistic, vague jargon. Our brains are wired to find patterns and fill in da blanks. So anybody who is already an OK instructor can look at EDGE and say "yah, sure" and then add 10 things to "Enable" and rearrange da order based on their own experience.

                            But that's their experience talkin', not EDGE. Da measure of EDGE is whether it works if followed in a simple, straightforward way by a novice instructor with no prior experience. And there's no evidence that it does, nor is there any evidence that it even should because it doesn't correspond to any of the techniques for which there is sound research backing.

                            Of course if yeh really believe in EDGE like it's a magic potion, then da next step is to call in to question all of the scientific research on teaching and learning and da human brain. The Department of Education in summarizing hundreds of careful research studies can't possibly know as much as a few volunteers and pros in Irving. Can't let evidence get in da way of our belief.

                            It's always been interestin' to me, since we first introduced this EDGE thing, how little of our training or materials for either adults or youth actually follow da model. It's like we really don't believe it ourselves.

                            I found the IES summary kinda fascinatin', especially when yeh actually read more than the blurbs I quoted. Unlike EDGE, they correspond better to my experience in scoutin' and elsewhere. I never teach knots without talkin' about uses and trying 'em in different uses. Otherwise the boy might know how to tie a bowline but not ever think to use one when it's called for, or use one where it's not a good choice.

                            Beavah

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              I agree about knots. Need to know the uses of the knot. I would put that as part of the Explanation in EDGE. The only reason to teach knots is to use them while outdoors. That should be part of the Explanation.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Or, you could tell a kid:

                                Read the handbook, have them read the handbook, do the handbook, have them do the handbook.

                                Why? Because the purpose of the knots (and anything you need to explain) IS IN THE HANDBOOK.

                                RTHHTRTHDTHHTDTH is not a catchy mnemonic, but it doesn't need to be. And because it's content laden, I'll warrant it's easier to remember.

                                But I'm just guessing. Where are those education grad students looking for a research study?

                                Comment

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