EDUGATES® are the developers of the unique focus/ICDL teaching methodology that has recently been very strongly supported by the findings of educational research that is taking place in Carnegie Melon and Pittsburgh Universities joint Pittsburgh Science of Learning Centre.

In June 2010, the centre published a summary of its theory and findings under the title “The Knowledge-Learning-Instruction (KLI) Framework - Toward Bridging the Science-Practice Chasm to Enhance Robust Student Learning”.  The research is being lead by Professors Kenneth R. Koedinger, Albert T. Corbett and Charles Perfetti who are assisted by members of the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Centre. This research can be accessed at http://www.learnlab.org/opportunities/summer/readings/PSLC-Theory-Framework-Tech-Rep.pdf .

The researchers’ work is focused on investigating the science of learning and what that might say about instructional practices, as they say, “an ideal scientific solution would be a small set of universal instructional principles that can be applied to produce efficient and robust student learning for any educational goal”. Their research examines classifying knowledge by level of complexity rather than by subject, to be able to make better decisions regarding which instructional practices correlate with each category of knowledge. Their hypothesis is “…that an instructional principle, at a particular level of complexity, will be effective for knowledge components of similar complexity and those of greater complexity, but not for ones of less complexity”. A further aim of the research is to produce questions and hypotheses for further research in order to continue to improve teaching effectiveness.

The EDUGATES® teaching methodology links with this research in that the term ‘curriculum element’ is similar to ‘knowledge component’. The particular EDUGATES® instructional practice is that teachers are asked or assisted to identify the individual curriculum elements that they are teaching and with each of these, the focus/ICDL teaching methodology is applied. This method involves focussing students on the curriculum element with firstly, an interactive introduction, secondly, activities and exercises which check understanding, and thirdly, with further activities to drill the curriculum element. Finally, this curriculum element is linked to other relevant curriculum elements, the body of knowledge or to knowledge across the curriculum.

The EDUGATES® leadership team is keenly following the Carnegie Mellon research in order to consider how this may inform further developments in the focus/ICDL teaching methodology. It is particularly interested in the outcomes of dividing subjects according to complexity and the identification of relevant instructional practices for differing levels of complexity.