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Paul A. Kirschner

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Paul A. Kirschner, dr.h.c
Paul A. Kirschner
upright=Paul-Kirschner.jpg Paul kirschner 16 (cropped).jpg
BornNew York, USA
🏳️ NationalityDutch
💼 Occupation
🏢 OrganizationOpen University of the Netherlands
Known forResearch, educational psychology, life-long learning and instructional design

Paul A. Kirschner (born 1951) is an editor, researcher and professor.


Kirschner was born in 1951 in New York City.[1] He is an international recognized researcher, editor and professor.[2]

Education and academic career[edit]

Paul A. Kirschner (1951) is Professor Emeritus at the Open University of the Netherlands, Honorary Doctor (Doctor Honoris Causa) at the University of Oulu, Finland, and Guest Professor at Thomas More University of Applied

Sciences (Thomas More Hogeschool) in Flanders, Belgium. Prior to his retirement he was Professor of Educational Psychology at the Open University of the Netherlands and Visiting Professor of Education at the University of Oulu, Finland.[1]

Kirschner's areas of expertise include lifelong learning, computer supported collaborative learning, designing electronic and other innovative learning environments, open educational resources, media-use in education, development of teacher distance learning materials, use of practicals for the acquisition of cognitive skills and competencies, design and development of electronic learning and working environments, innovation and the use of information technology in educational systems.[2] [3]

Ancillary activities[edit]

Paul A. Kirschner's notable contributions include his presidency of the International Society for the Learning Sciences and his status as fellow at that society and research fellow at both the American Educational Research Association and the Netherland Institute for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences and Humanities. He was Programme Director of the Fostering Effective, Efficient and Enjoyable Learning environments (FEEEL) programme at the Welten Institute. He was also a member of the Scientific Technical Council of the Foundation for University, Computing Facilities (SURF WTR) as well as of the Dutch Educational Council (Onderwijsraad) where he was advisor to the minister of education.[3]

Kirschner contributed his expertise to various organizations, adding valuable professional support.

He was:

  • Professor Emeritus at the Open University of the Netherlands
  • Doctor Honoris Causa on the University of Oulu, Finland
  • Visiting Professor of Education with a special emphasis on Learning and Interaction in Teacher Education at the University of Applied Science, Mechelen, Belgium
  • Member of the Scientific Technical Council (WTR) of the Foundation for Netherlands University Computing Centres (SURF)
  • Member of the Advisory Board of the Learning, Educational Achievement and Life Course Development (LEAD) graduate school at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany
  • Member of the International Advisory Board of Games and Professional Simulations (GAPS) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Fellow of the American Education Research Association
  • Fellow of the International Society for the Learning Sciences
  • Fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Science
  • Columnist
  • Chief Editor of the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning
  • Commissioning Editor of Computers in Human Behaviour[3]


Kirschner received the AERA Research Fellow award and served as a member of the Research Centre for Learning. He contributes to the International Society of the Learning Sciences, and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Science[4]. His most outstanding and cited article was posted in 2006, titled "Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work"[5].


He has specialized in the following areas:

  • educational resources and research
  • computer aided collaborative learning
  • text characteristics and learning processes

Publications and books[edit]

He has published more than 350 scientific articles as well as hundreds of popular scientific articles and blogs for teachers and school administrators in both English and Dutch. He is also (co)author of a number of books including, Ten Steps to Complex Learning, two different volumes of Urban Legends about Learning and Education as well as the forthcoming books Evidence Informed Learning Design and How Learning Happens: Seminal Works in Educational Psychology and What They Mean in Practice and Evidence-Informed Learning Design: Creating Training to Improve Practice. He is author of a number of Dutch books including On the Shoulders of Giants [Op de Shouders van Reuzen] and Wise Lessons [Wijze Lessen]. He also co-edited two other books (Visualizing Argumentation and What we know about CSCL). He is also chief editor of the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning and commissioning editor of Computers in Human Behaviour.[4] [3]


  1. Kirschner, P. (2020). Personal interview.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Paul Kirschner". Academia. October 12, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Paul Kirschner". open universiteit. October 13, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Paul A. Kirschner - Routledge & CRC Press Author Profile". Retrieved 2020-10-12.
  5. Bennett, Tom (February 28, 2019). "An interview with…Professor Paul Kirschner – researchED". research ED. Retrieved 2020-10-12. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)

Getting permission[edit]

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