SFU Canada Research Chairs Seminar Series: "How to Improve Education with Educational Research that Focuses on Each Learner"

Thursday, November 25, 2010
11:30 - 12:30

Dr. Philip H. Winne
Canada Research Chair in Self-Regulated Learning and Learning Technologies , Faculty of Education


Educational research has a ghost in its closet. Researchers acknowledge that learners can shape how they learn as well as many conditions that affect learning. Indeed, proclamations that students should develop ``personal skills for life long learning" depend on this view. In seeming opposition to this is an obvious fact: A research methodology that relegates this intrinsic human agency to ``error variance" has generated powerful, replicable (but sometimes counterintuitive) principles about how to improve learning - on average. What's scientifically trustworthy or educationally useful about principles if any student can reshape them at almost any time? How useful to educators are principles that poorly fit learners who differ from the average? A model of self-regulated learning can map this territory but a fundamental shift in research methodology is needed that embraces rather than dismisses human agency. A key to realizing the modified paradigm I will describe is intensive use of computing technologies throughout education. I sketch an ideal scenario that could have two happy results: accelerating the trajectory of research and simultaneously helping learners build personal skills for life long learning.

About the Speaker

Phil Winne joined the Faculty of Education at SFU after completing his PhD in educational psychology at Stanford University in 1975. He investigates how learners build and manage skills for learning, and how research methods might be fine tuned to study those phenomena. Phil is a Canada Research Chair and a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science and the Canadian Psychological Association. He is most proud of being honored by the Mentorship Award, given by the Canadian Committee of Students in Education within the Canadian Society for the Study of Education; and the Robbie Case Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to educational psychology in Canada, given by the Canadian Association for Educational Psychology.