La excesiva simplificación de la enseñanza de control de estrategia de variables

Translated title of the contribution: Oversimplifying teaching of the control of variables strategy

Robert F. Lorch, Elizabeth P. Lorch, Sarah Lorch Wheeler, Benjamin D. Freer, Emily Dunlap, Emily C. Reeder, William Calderhead, Jessica Van Neste, Hung Tao Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Two experiments compared closely related interventions to teach the control of variables strategy (CVS) to fourth-grade students. Over the two experiments, an intervention first developed by Chen and Klahr (1999) was most effective at helping students learn how to design and evaluate single-factor experiments. In Experiment 1, attempts to reduce the cognitive load imposed by Chen and Klahr's basic teaching intervention actually produced poorer learning and transfer of CVS. In Experiment 2, attempts to simplify Chen and Klahr's algorithm for teaching students how to set up a valid experimental design also produced poorer learning and transfer of CVS. Both experiments illustrate that oversimplifying a domain or the logic behind controlling variables can undermine the effectiveness of an intervention designed to teach CVS.

Translated title of the contributionOversimplifying teaching of the control of variables strategy
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)7-16
Number of pages10
JournalPsicologia Educativa
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the U.S. Department of Education. Robert Lorch gratefully acknowledges the support of the Scientific Council of the Midi-Pyrenees Region of France, the Laborataire CLLE-LTC and OCTOGONE Laboratoire at the Universite de Toulouse – Le Mirail. Finally, Robert Lorch and Elizabeth Lorch thank the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky for providing each of them with a sabbatical leave, during which time this manuscript was prepared.

Funding Information:
The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305H060150 to the University of Kentucky.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Colegio Oficial de la Psicología de Madrid.


  • Elementary science education
  • Instructional design
  • Science education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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