Archive for the '801' Category

Learning Styles — Again

September 6th, 2010

Every semester we go around with this. Every semester people argue with me about it. Every semester I run through the evidence and even with it staring them in the face, every semester teachers reject the idea that there is no credible evidence to support the idea of “Learning Styles” as currently applied in education. Here’s another study that agrees with me:

Our review of the literature disclosed ample evidence that children and adults will, if asked, express preferences about how they prefer information to be presented to them. There is also plentiful evidence arguing that people differ in the degree to which they have some fairly specific aptitudes for different kinds of thinking and for processing different types of information. However, we found virtually no evidence for the interaction pattern mentioned above, which was judged to be a precondition for validating the educational applications of learning styles. Although the literature on learning styles is enormous, very few studies have even used an experimental methodology capable of testing the validity of learning styles applied to education. Moreover, of those that did use an appropriate method, several found results that flatly contradict the popular meshing hypothesis.

via Learning Styles — Psychological Science in the Public Interest.

I got this link from a NY Times article about how much we do in education is based–and I’m paraphrasing here–on superstition.

For the 682 class: What does this mean for your designs? If you’re restricted to using ONLY those techniques for which we have good, scientifically based support–as you’re required to do by NCLB, btw–what can you do in a classroom?

For the 801 class: Here’s a leadership challenge for you. You cannot support the use of learning styles as a valid, research-based practice. How do you deal with that?


Weblogg-ed » Who’s Asking?

August 31st, 2010

Will Richardson is one of the pathfinders in this wilderness of education. He’s had a lot of interesting ideas and this is another one.

So here’s the deal with the change that many of us in this conversation are clamoring for in schools: we’re about the only ones talking it. The townsfolk down at the corner store aren’t demanding “21st Century Skills,” technology in every student’s hand, an inquiry based curriculum and globally networked classrooms. By and large the parents and grandparents in our communities aren’t asking for it. The national conversation isn’t about rethinking what happens in classrooms. No one’s creating assessments around any of this. And in fact, outside of the small percentage of people who are participating in these networks and communities online, the vast majority of this country and the world doesn’t even know that a revolution is brewing.

via Weblogg-ed » Who’s Asking?.

Is the problem so far under the radar that nobody else is seeing it?

If it’s such a hidden problem, do we know it really exists?