Robert Duke is the Marlene and Morton Meyerson Centennial Professor and Head of Music and Human Learning at The University of Texas at Austin, where he is University Distinguished Teaching Professor, Elizabeth Shatto Massey Distinguished Fellow in Teacher Education, and Director of the Center for Music Learning. He is also a member of the faculty and director of the psychology of learning program at the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles. The most recent recipient of MENC's Senior Researcher Award, Dr. Duke has directed national research efforts under the sponsorship of such organizations as the National Piano Foundation and the International Suzuki Institute. His research on human learning and behavior spans multiple disciplines, including motor skill learning, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience. His most recent work explores procedural memory consolidation and the cognitive processes engaged during musical improvisation. A former studio musician and public school music teacher, he has worked closely with children at-risk, both in the public schools and through the juvenile justice system. He is the author of Scribe 4 behavior analysis software, and his most recent books are Intelligent Music Teaching: Essays on the Core Principles of Effective Instruction and The Habits of Musicianship, which he co-authored with Jim Byo of Louisiana State University.

 

 

 

Abstract: Strategic Confusion

 

In 1959, Jerome Bruner correctly observed that "The school boy learning physics is a physicist, and it is easier for him to learn physics by behaving like a physicist than doing anything else" (1960, p. 72). Since that time, research in psychology and neuroscience has deepened our understanding of the fundamental principles of human learning. Yet much of what we do in public and private education at all levels of instruction seems to effectively ignore these principles. What’s up with that?