Great Minds on Learning Podcast Series – John Helmer & Donald Clark

Listening to John Helmer’s Great Minds on Learning Podcast with Donald Clark this morning brought to mind Joe Harless’ book – titled to take a poke at his very good friend Bob Mager.

So yes, John, I do listen to your podcasts. ;)

Listen to this podcast – second in their series – here.

In this episode, Donald and John discuss a group of theorists who mostly focused directly on instructional design, and who between them created a body of work which is canonical to the practice of learning design. Although their most famous maxims feature prominently on PowerPoints and blogs about learning design to this day, their ideas are often cherry-picked and misrepresented – as in the strange case of Benjamin Bloom and his eponymous Taxonomy. Donald calls for a revaluation, arguing passionately for their continued relevance and far-sightedness. 

00:56 Introducing the Instructionalists

06:52 Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915)

12:51 Benjamin Bloom (1913-1999)

26:29 Robert M. Gagné (1916-2002)

38:43 Robert F. Mager (1923-2020)

50:09 M. David Merrill (1937 -)

59:41 Summary 

The Great Minds on Learning Podcast Website:

The Blog that started it all: 






Contact Donald

Twitter: @DonaldClark



Contact John Helmer

Twitter: @johnhelmerLinkedIn:


Download the new white paper from Learning Pool written by John Helmer & Ben Betts – Suite Dreams: The Past, Present and Future of Learning Systems


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