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Wanted: Scholarly Articles on EDGE

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Does anyone have a bibliography on the EDGE method?


I've decided to stop being an armchair skeptic until I've learned how it does or does not improve a person's teaching ability.


I tried Google scholar. "Trainer's EDGE" comes up with a couple of books on computer and distance instruction. "EDGE Method" brings up lots of articles in physics and math. Nothing to do with pedagogy. Is it out there under another name?


What would really be interesting is some type of randomized trial. What would be gravy is if the trial involved 12 - 15 year old instructors and learners.

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I'm in the field of Instructional Design (ABD (all but dissertation (meaning I've done all the requirements for a Ph.D. in the area, with the exception of the dissertation))). I'd never heard of EDGE until I got involved in Scouting. That said, generically speaking, it's a pretty good model for skills instruction, using a mnemonic to remember the steps. It's not much different from what good teachers do daily.

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EDGE is based on Tuckman's (through Hersey & Blanchard) team development model (Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing). Where each step is based on the leader's role in the team at a particular stage (Telling, Selling, Participating and Delegating). I suspect that EDGE itself is a BSA thing to avoid royalties, as I have not encountered it anywhere else. Look for Situational Leadership and you should find some things.


I do wish that both the Trainer's EDGE and WB would include a bibliography.

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EDGE is made-up. Poppycock, it's not. It's a good generic model for skills instruction, and is based on other models for skills instruction, with a catchy mnemonic to it. I don't see why there is any objection to it. (I'm specifically talking the EDGE method to teach skills, as is the requirement for different Scout ranks, not the entire system Trainer's EDGE).

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It's a good generic model for skills instruction, and is based on other models for skills instruction


Yah, that's a claim, eh? Qwazse was lookin' for real data to support your claim. Do yeh have any?


The folks I know who do academic education stuff tell me it's an unsubstantiated and mostly groundless claim, though the model is so vague and generic to be almost useless on its face. From what I've seen of the many ways people think they're doin' EDGE properly, and da equally varied and not very great results, I tend to agree with da pros I know.


Interestin' that jet526 thinks it comes out of da Hersey & Blanchard stuff. That's organizational behavior literature, not education/learning literature. Very different beasts, as OGE describes.




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


What is their preferred model?


The only way studies would work on this subject would be to use two different methods to teach a skill. You can't absolutely say "EDGE" method doesn't work. You have to compare it to some other method. In addition, you would have to define what best is. Do you want to find the method of instruction that is fastest to accomplish? Or do you want the method with best long term knowledge?



In going through the literature (that I can find w/o access to academic journals), I found a similar model used in Australia for canoeing instruction called EDICT. Explanation, Demonstration, Imitation, Coaching/Correction, and Trials.





For novice instructors (like teenagers), the EDGE model is about as good as any other model. Are there better models? probably. Are there worse models? probably. EDGE is easy to remember, and the idea of Explain, Demonstrate, Guide and Enable are pretty basic. I would probably use DEDGE given a choice (with a demo prior to explanation, followed by another demo), but EDGE will work.



Again, I'm not talking about the leadership model, only the educational model that the Scouts would use--"Using the EDGE method teach another person how to tie the square knot."




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You would have to be ask the developers to know for sure.


The connection to Hersey & Blanchard's leadership model is obvious and it looks like the "training" model is shoe-horned onto that. Even the Trainer's EDGE has very little about the training method.


This came from a school of business not a school of education.(This message has been edited by jet526)

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Jet (and I think Beavah),


I think we are commenting on different things. I don't know enough about the leadership side of the EDGE equation. I do know about the educational side of the equation. Educationally, as a method to teach a procedural skill (i.e. knot tying, etc.), it's fine--it's really no different than people have been teaching other people from the beginning of humankind (except of course for the catchy mnemonic). The other stuff I have no idea about.

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Thanks for the article. It's not exactly what I wanted but it was very insightful.


But here's the rub ... based on your last comment -it's really no different than people have been teaching other people from the beginning of humankind (except of course for the catchy mnemonic) Well, actually it is. Because from the beginning of humankind we've been making references (cave paintings, wall diagrams, statues, books, blogs, ...) that were central to skill acquisition. Or, at least we thought they were. By omitting "reference" (or handbook, in the case of teaching scout skills) EDGE implies that that step is non-essential.


The question remains, were we being inefficient by telling kids to involve reading a reference as part of skill acquisition/imparting? Will kids be taught just as well not learning to take that step at some point in their teaching process?


Further questions are:

Is EDGE too much of a deviation from deDICT for the sake of maintaining an nmemonic?

Do kids without the mnemonic teach as successfully as kids who've been given it?


OGE, I guess you've figured out that I'm interested in the teaching method. (BTW, I'm the kid who learned all of the FC knots from the book before my first meeting -- except taught-line hitch.)

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You can't absolutely say "EDGE" method doesn't work.


Nor can yeh "absolutely say" that leprechauns don't keep pots of gold at da end of rainbows.


But that' not da question, eh? The question was whether there was any research evidence at all that even suggested that EDGE was worthwhile. The answer to that is "no."


In the olden days, conservative fellows like me would call such a thing "snake oil." Now I guess we're all supposed to take it on faith because we like leprechauns in da month of March. ;)


For novice instructors (like teenagers), the EDGE model is about as good as any other model


Yah, hmmm....


And your evidence for that is what exactly? That a few Aussies use somethin' similar to teach canoeing? That it was developed and published by the BSA rather than anybody who does professional work in education or training?


As yeh point out, yeh need to define "as good as" and "novice instructors". And then yeh would need to conduct an experiment or gather data. What yeh have is a marketing claim. What quazse is lookin' for is real reviewed research. There's a difference. ;)



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And Beav, I'm not joking.


I decided to get off of my high horse and make sure I understand what people are thinking when they promote this "made up poppycock".


Why? Because my scouts are critical thinkers, and sooner or later one or two of them will ask the "what's the point" question. Even if I don't believe it, I want to be able to give them some useful background so that they know why some people do.

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References are a fairly modern thing. They require written language. We've been teaching as a species long before we had writing. We teach our own kids skills (using similar methods to EDGE) long before they can use a reference. (I've seen no evidence that cave paintings were instructional)


EDGE, from what I can see, is used primarily for teaching motor skills and procedural skills. I don't see it practical for everything.


I don't see any significant difference between EDICT and EDGE, except the acronyms used. As I said, I would think DEDGE would be slightly better than EDGE, but that's just personal preference.


In terms of things like knot tying, and canoeing skills, etc., I don't see a reference as being necessary if they are mastered. If anything, I think overuse of references are detrimental to things like knot tying. Knot tying should be done to a point where muscle memory is more important than cognitive memory.


Besides a couple of years as an unambitious Tenderfoot in the early 1980s, I've been out of the Boy Scout arena until last year. Was there a different model to teaching skills than EDGE? Also, there is nothing in EDGE that implies references aren't to be used. The EDGE method doesn't require references, but I can easily see how they could be incorporated in the Explain or Demonstrate phase.


The mnemonic just helps to keep the instructor focused on the four stages. Are there other ways to do the basic same things? Yes. This just is a convenient way for the kids to learn how to teach. It's arbitrary, but it is a good starting point.


If somebody can learn a motor or procedural skill just by reading about it, great, but not all of us can. I'm horrible about learning about knots that way. I basically need to be taught how to tie a particulary knot several times before I have it down. The diagrams don't do much for me, unless I can relate a diagramed knot to another knot I already know (how I learned the tautline hitch).


I think there's much ado about nothing in this whole "anti-EDGE" sentiment. EDGE is just a mnemonic that incorporates common practices to use while teaching a motor/procedural skill. It's not the best thing since sliced bread, but it is a good fundamental teaching technique.



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I just don't see the whole objection to it. It's fundamentally sound. When you teach something to somebody, you tell them how to do it, you show them how to do it, you help them practice doing it, and you give them a chance to do it. It's what I learned in education classes as the way to teach things. All EDGE is is a repackaging of it. It's nothing groundbreaking. It's not radical. It just has a name that the marketers like, but fundamentally, it's just good teaching practice. I don't need research to show that it's good or not. The most radical thing about this is we are making teaching skills a requirement for Scouts. I don't see what's wrong with that.


In terms of your critical thinking scouts, the "point" is that the four steps in EDGE are time-honored teaching practices. The EDGE initials are just a way to help remember them. Simple as that. Having easy to remember steps is a good thing for novices. With expertise, you can go off in different directions.


Besides references, can anybody describe a teaching model that is radically different from EDGE, other than constructivist theoretical stuff like in the article I referenced?

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