robertogreco + learningstyles   17

Science / Fiction — Carol Black
"‘Evidence-based’ education, scientific racism, & how learning styles became a myth."



"1. The Debunkers
2. The Map and the Territory
3. The Evidence
4. The Territory Beyond the Map
5. Here Be Dragons"



"A disturbing feature of this discourse in education is the frequency with which it takes the form of male researchers and pundits telling female educators that their views on learning are cognitively childish and irrational and should therefore be disregarded. Cognitive psychologist Daniel Willingham, a prominent debunker, has shared some rather patronizing speculations as to why the vast majority of (mostly female) teachers persist in thinking their students have different learning styles ("I think learning styles theory is widely accepted because the idea is so appealing. It would be so nice if it were true.") His paternal tone is especially disturbing since he makes his case by failing to mention the existence of legitimate competing views from respected scientists and education researchers."



"But despite the debunkers' undeniable passion on the topic, the fact is that there are extremely reputable scientists on both sides of this debate. In other words, as Grundmann and Stehr put it, "the basic rift in these debates is not between lay people and experts but between two alliances that advocate different courses of action based on divergent basic values and knowledge claims... we see representatives of science and the lay public on both sides."

So what are the two alliances in the case of learning styles? And what are their divergent basic values?

Luckily, you don't have to dig very deep to find out. If you review the writings of the most vocal learning styles 'debunkers,' you quickly find that they are almost always simply advocates for traditional, teacher-controlled direct instruction. They tend to favor a traditional "core knowledge" curriculum, traditional forms of discipline, and they adhere to a traditional IQ-based view of intelligence. In other words, they’re just educational conservatives. (In the UK they openly call themselves "trads" as opposed to "progs.") They trumpet any research that supports their preferences and ignore or attempt to discredit any research that leans the other way. They don't like progressive or self-directed or culturally relevant approaches to education. They don't tend to concern themselves overmuch with less tangible aspects of children's well-being like, say, "happiness" or "creativity" or "mental health." They define "what works" in education in terms of test scores.

But the reality is that you can’t say ‘what works” in education until you answer the question: works for what? As Yong Zhao explains in “What Works May Hurt: Side Effects in Education,” it’s reasonable to assume, in education as in medicine, that any given intervention may have negative as well as positive effects; if we want to claim to be evidence-based, we need to look at both. What raises test scores may lower creativity or intrinsic motivation, and vice versa; this study, for example, found that direct instruction hastened young children's mastery of a specific task, but lowered exploratory behavior. So “what the research supports” depends on what you value, what you care most about, what kind of life you want for your children."



"The first thing to understand about learning styles is that there is no agreed-on definition of the term. Multiple frameworks have been proposed, from the popular Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic framework, to the Concrete-Abstract framework, to the Holistic-Analytical, Impulsive-Reflective, Convergent-Divergent, Field-Dependent-Field-Independent, Cognitive-Affective-Physiological –– one literature review identified 71 different models. As Kirschner and van Merriënboer grouse, if we consider each learning style as dichotomous (e.g. visual vs. verbal) that means there are 2 to the power of 71 possible combinations of learning styles – more than the number of people alive on earth.

They say that like it’s a bad thing. But as astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson remarked recently, “In science, when human behavior enters the equation, things go nonlinear. That's why physics is easy and sociology is hard.”

Zhang and her frequent collaborators Robert Sternberg and Stephen Rayner, co-editors of The Handbook of Intellectual Styles, are not fans of the 'debunkers.' They use the term intellectual style as an "umbrella term for all style constructs," (including learning styles, cognitive styles, perceptual styles, and thinking styles) which relate to "people's preferred ways of processing information and dealing with tasks." (Notice the word "preferred" here, since that will come up later.) As these authors see it, intellectual style differences are complex, involving cognitive, affective, physiological, psychological, and sociological dimensions. Researchers Maria Kozhevnikov, Carol Evans, and Stephen Kosslyn use the term cognitive style (which includes learning style constructs), to describe "patterns of adaptation to the external world that develop through interaction with the surrounding environment on the basis of innate predispositions, the interactions among which are shaped by changing environmental demands."

The most promising style constructs, in Kozhevnikov's view, are not the narrow visual-auditory-kinesthetic (V-A-K) perceptual categories, but the richer constructs of "context-dependency vs. independency, rule-based vs. intuitive processing, internal vs. external locus of control, and integration vs. compartmentalization." These cognitive tendencies are neither set in stone nor completely malleable; they intersect with cognition at multiple levels, from perception to concept formation to higher-order cognitive processing to meta-cognitive processing.

So it's complicated. And yet despite what researchers Elena Grigorenko and Samuel Mandelman call "the very fine texture" of the "intertwined threads of intelligence and personality" that make learning styles so devilishly hard to define, in practice these differences are not at all difficult to see.

Which is probably why somewhere between 75 and 90% of teachers believe they exist.

In self-directed learning situations where children are able to follow their curiosity in their own ways, differences that might be muted or masked in a controlled instruction setting become very clearly visible. Sensory preferences intersect with social, emotional, and cognitive differences in complex and individual ways that profoundly shape how each child enters and explores and takes hold of the world. One child will spend quiet hours poring over illustrated books about science or history; another child is quickly bored by those, but gets deeply engaged in active social projects like building or filmmaking or citizen science. One child listens in on adult conversations and remembers everything she hears, absorbing knowledge like a sponge; another child creates and constructs knowledge in her own hands-on ways, writing her first book before she reads one. One child is observant and cautious, always making sure of things before venturing into unfamiliar terrain; another child is bold and intuitive, diving in head first and filling in the gaps later in a "fake it till you make it" spirit. The river moves steadily toward the sea, but it follows many divergent pathways, and the shortest distance between two points may not be a straight line.

In other words, human learning differences are complex, multi-dimensional, and difficult to definitively pin down, but this much is clear: the kids have different styles of learning. So how does something so intuitively obvious and readily observed cease to exist in the eyes of the debunkers?"



"The debunkers admit that people have fairly stable learning preferences. They also admit that people have variable abilities in visual v. auditory memory, etc. When you combine preference with ability –– e.g. "I have a good visual memory, and I prefer information presented visually" –– that’s probably what many speakers of the English language understand by the term “learning style.”

So that thing? That exists.

But here’s where the crucial elision occurs, and the claim shifts to the matching hypothesis. In a literature review of learning styles research, Pashler et al. state it this way: the theory of learning styles is only confirmed if we can successfully sort individuals into groups “for which genuine group-by-treatment interactions can be demonstrated.”

What are “group-by-treatment” interactions? Well, in this scenario the teacher diagnoses and sorts the learners into groups, applies a randomized instructional “treatment” to each group, and then administers a test to determine which “treatment” worked better –– like a drug trial.

It's important to note that the debunkers' claim is thus based almost entirely on studies of teacher-controlled direct instruction; they don't involve scenarios where learners have agency. But the problem with studying learning in teacher-controlled settings is that it may be unclear whether you're measuring something about the learning or something about the teaching. In other words, you have to be sure that "Treatment A" isn't just a better or more interesting lesson than "Treatment B."

How can you solve that problem? Simple. By excluding from the list of methodologically acceptable studies anything that involves the kind of creative activities that good teachers might come up with to address the needs of diverse learners.

From the standpoint of strict scientific method, this is, of course, correct; your experimental protocol should control every variable except the one you're testing. How can you achieve this? By further simplification, of course: by creating a lesson so lacking in complexity that it can’t possibly be interesting to anyone. Like memorizing a random list of words.

Here’s where you run … [more]
carolblack  learningstyles  evidence  2018  paulkirschner  jeroenvanmerriënboer  li-fangzhang  mariakozhevnikov  carolevans  elenagrigorenko  stephenkosslyn  robertsternberg  learning  education  data  danielwillingham  daviddidau  joanneyatvin  power  yongzhao  research  unschooling  deschooling  directinstruction  children  happiness  creativity  well-being  iq  intelligence  traditional  testing  intrinsicmotivation  mastery  behavior  howwelearn  self-directed  self-directedlearning  ignorance  franksmith  race  racism  oppression  intersectionality  coreknowledge  schooling  schooliness  homeschool  multiliteracies  differences  hierarchy  participation  participatory  democracy  leannebetasamosakesimpson  andrealandry  pedagogy  teaching  howweteach  colonization  leisterman  ibramkendi  standardizedtesting  standardization  onesizefitsall  cornelpewewardy  cedarriener  yanaweinstein 
june 2018 by robertogreco
Learning Modalities | Nicholas Meier
"There is a common belief in education that knowing one’s, or one’s students’, preferred learning modality is important or at least helpful in designing learning strategies for ourselves or them. When I do a search of learning modalities I find dozens of articles in educational journals about how to use this information and why it is important. The interesting thing is that the empirical evidence does not support the claim, despite its popularity. And this lack of support is not for lack of investigation.

First I want to be clear on what learning modalities are and are not. They are basically the receptive modes of taking in the world, of learning—most commonly aural (hearing,), visual (seeing), and kinesthetic (feeling, touching). These are not to be confused with learning styles (of which there are many versions) such as field dependent or independent, liking to work alone or with others, risk-avoidant or risk-taker, introverted, extroverted. Nor is it to be confused with Gardner’s seven or eight Intelligences, which are ways of understanding, and really more the active side than the receptive side.

We believe in our modality preference for the same reason humans believe many things that are not true. It just seems so intuitively true. We all have a sense of how we best take in information. Also, it is so often repeated – and even accepted by experts – that it must be true. There are lots of tests designed by psychologists to measure this and help you figure out your strength. When I first took psychology in the 1980s this dichotomy between the common sense belief and the evidence was pointed out by one of my professors. Even then it had been studied and found to be false. In the 30 years since then, the literature has continued to pour out on how to teach to modalities, and the evidence that such teaching does not actually enhance learning has also continued, and continued to be ignored by the practitioner side of the field. Special education teachers might say, “Well true for regular education, but in special education these differences are real.” However, most of the research is with special education (as are most of the advise articles), and it is just as false in special education as in regular education.

It is a fact that in humans it is the visual area of the brain that is really the biggest—it is just the way that humans have evolved to take in the world. This is true of everyone unless they are blind or brain damaged in some way. As social beings, however, we also interact with other humans to a large extent though hearing. It is our verbal communication with others that to a large extent fulfills our social needs. Many people claim that, although sight is more central to our taking in the word, being deaf is worse, because it isolates us more than blindness.

And whenever I ask about how people like to learn (not meaning modalities) virtually everyone says “Oh, I’m one of those people that needs to be active.” We are all kinesthetic, we all learn though doing, touching. And again, the humans have evolved to actually need, desire, touch. There is a famous experiment where a baby monkey will choose the artificial mother that provides soft embrace to the one that provides milk.

What I have discussed is that all of these modalities are central to being human. What the research has shown is that when you use all modalities all learners learn better! This is really a boon for teachers, since instead of feeling like you need to test each of your students for their strengths and then designing separate lessons for each type learner, now what you are best off doing is designing lessons that utilize all modalities. The more modalities you use, the more all students will do better. For all students relying on just one or two is exactly that—less.

I give the example of my getting directions. I could just hear it (or read it) (auditory) “Turn right here, turn left there….” Or I cold look at on a map (visual). But getting both helps me remember it even better. And then what I like to do, to really get it down pat, is stand up and point the direction of each turn, in turn, maybe even turning my body as well, as I go over it (kinesthetic).

So take heart, the truth in this case makes out teaching easier, not harder.

As the author of the textbook I am using for my current course on learning theory puts it, “These differences can be reliably measured, but research has not identified the effects of teaching to these styles; certainly presenting information in multiple modalities might be useful” (p.129)."
nicholasmeier  learning  howwelearn  modalities  learningmodalities  learningstyles  howardgardner  multipleintelligences  humans  2015 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The High Cost of Neuromyths in Education | Edutopia
"The Left/Right Brain Myth
Take for example the myth of left and right brains. Why has it taken over two decades to debunk the left brain/right brain myths? There was never any neuroscience research supporting claims that both sides of the brain needed physical exercise that "crosses the midline," such as tapping the left shoulder with the right hand. Yet individuals and school districts spent considerable sums for programs claiming to provide critical activation of both sides of the brain to overcome the deficiencies of weak right or left brains that held back student intelligence and success.

But more problematic than a single myth is the difficulty in eroding that myth. Over 20 years ago, neuroimaging demonstrated that both sides of the brain are in constant communication, transmitting neural signals from one hemisphere to the other. Although parts of the brain are particularly active during certain memory or learning activities, all brain activities requiring cognition activate neural networks on both sides of the brain. Yet the myth persists.

The Learning-Style Myth
Despite absence of valid supporting research, many products continue to promise more effective results when learning style is matched to teaching modality. Programs promise that their surveys or analytic tools yield vital information defining students' specific learning styles. Their prescribed instruction differentiates not by mastery or interest, but on the sensory modality declared to be most effective for each learner and his or her "learning style."

No reliable research has ever demonstrated that instruction designated as appropriate for any "tested" learning style is effective because it matches that style. The research is missing several important control validations. For example, there are no statistically valid studies comparing the response of a mixed-learning-style control group with the results of a learning-style-matched group. To qualify as "effective," there must be support of claims that superior outcomes are the direct result of teaching to individual learning styles and not a general result to the instruction. There is no evidence that "visual learners" have better outcomes to instruction designed for "visual learners" than do mixed-style learners taught using the same instruction. Without comparison groups, the before and after results could simply mean that the particular instruction is the most effective method for teaching that specific content to all students (Pashler, et al).

The "We Use Only 10 Percent of Our Brains" Myth
Some neuromyths take on life because the language of neuroscience is not familiar or easily translatable. This is certainly true with some of our own "eduspeak" (consider the reaction to phonemic awareness or summative feedback outside of a school). The neuromyth that we use only ten percent of our brainpower is beyond "lost in translation" -- it's a bad translation to begin with.

Some attribute the myth to mistranslations of mistranslations. In a book forward, journalist Lowell Thomas over-interpreted this statement written in the mid 1800s by William James, the father of modern psychology: "As a rule, men habitually use only a small part of their powers which they actually possess." Thomas made that generalization more concrete by: "Professor William James of Harvard used to say that the average person develops only ten per cent of his latent mental ability."

To clarify the science, consider that the brain weighs three pounds and uses about 20 percent of the body's limited oxygen and glucose resources. The brain has built-in efficiency systems to keep it trim -- it destroys unused or disconnected islands of brain connections. When networks are not activated frequently enough to build up the strong walls of myelin and multiple dendrite connections, they are pruned away, assuring more availability of metabolic resources for the most-used brain networks. Hence, we have "neurons that fire together" (the construction aspect of neuroplasticity) and its flipside, "use it or lose it."

Further myth-busting comes from neuroimaging research techniques, such as PET (positron emission tomography) and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) scans. These scans show that we use and activate most of our brains most of the time, and essentially all of our brains at some time each day."
neuroscience  2015  education  myths  learningstyles  leftrightbrain  leftbrain  rightbrain  brain  science 
march 2015 by robertogreco
All You Need to Know About the 'Learning Styles' Myth, in Two Minutes | WIRED
"On a sunny hike along a Madeiran levada a couple of years ago, I got chatting to a retired school teacher and I told him about the brain myths book I was writing. An affable chap, he listened with interest about the 10 percent myth and other classic misconceptions, but his mood changed when I mentioned learning styles. This is the mistaken idea that we learn better when the instruction we receive is tailored to our preferred way of learning. The friendly teacher was passionate about the concept’s merit – his own preferred style, he said, was to learn “by doing” and no-one would ever convince him otherwise.

How widely believed is the myth?
The teacher I met in Madeira is far from alone in endorsing the myth. It is propagated not only in hundreds of popular books, but also through international conferences and associations, by commercial companies who sell ways of measuring learning styles, and in teacher training programs. The TeachingEnglish website published by the British Council and the BBC states boldly “Your students will be more successful if you match your teaching style to their learning styles” – this includes, they claim, being: right- or left-brained, analytic vs. dynamic, and visual vs. auditory. A recent international survey of teachers from the UK, China and elsewhere found that 96 percent believed in the idea of preferred learning styles.

Why is the idea so popular?
Parents, understandably, like to think that their children are receiving a tailored education. Teachers, also understandably, like to think that they are sensitive to each child’s needs and many are clearly motivated to find out more about how to fulfill this ideal. Also, no-one likes to think of themselves as low in ability. It’s more comforting to my ego to think that a class was difficult because of a teaching style I didn’t like than because I wasn’t concentrating or because I’m simply not clever or motivated enough.

Is there any evidence to support the learning styles concept?
Yes there is a little, but experts on the topic like Harold Pashler and Doug Rohrer point out that most of this evidence is weak. Convincing evidence for learning styles would show that people of one preferred learning style learned better when taught material in their favored way, whereas a different group with a different preference learned the same material better when taught in their favored fashion. Yet surprisingly few studies of this format have produced supporting evidence for learning styles; far more evidence (such as this study) runs counter to the myth. What often happens is that both groups perform better when taught by one particular style. This makes sense because although each of us is unique, usually the most effective way for us to learn is based not on our individual preferences but on the nature of the material we’re being taught – just try learning French grammar pictorially, or learning geometry purely verbally.

Are there any other problems with the myth?
Oh yes! Another major problem is that there are so many different possible ways to describe people’s preferred learning styles. Indeed, a review published in 2004 identified over 71 different styles mooted in the literature. As Paul Kirschner and Jeroen Merrienboer explained in their recent article on “urban legends” in education, if we view each learning style as dichotomous (e.g. visual vs. verbal) that means there are 2 to the power of 71 combinations of identified learning styles – more than the number of people alive on earth! What’s more, even if we accept a particular scheme for measuring learning styles, evidence shows that learning style questionnaires are unreliable and people’s self-reported preferences are poorly correlated with their actual performance. In other words, a person might think they learn better, say, visually rather than verbally, but their performance says otherwise! The fact is, the more accurate predictor for how well a person will fare in a math learning task, is most likely not the degree of match between their preferred learning style and the teaching style, but their past performance on math tests.

So, should we completely give up on tailoring our teaching styles?
No. While people are often poor at judging which teaching methods are most effective for them, and while there is little strong evidence for the benefits of matching teaching style to preferred learning style, this does not mean there is no scope for tailoring teaching style to improve learning. For example, as Kirschner and Merrienboer point out, there is evidence that novices learn better from studying examples, whereas those with more expertise learn better by solving problems themselves. Other research shows how learning is improved (for most everyone) by combining different activities – such as drawing alongside more passive study.

Let’s bury this harmful myth
Many leading experts believe the myth of preferred learning styles is not just a benign misconception, but is likely causing harm. As Scott Lilienfeld and colleagues write in 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology, the approach “encourages teachers to teach to students’ intellectual strengths rather than their weaknesses.” Yet, they add: “students need to correct and compensate for their shortcomings, not avoid them.” There’s also an economic case. Many learning style questionnaires and training programs are expensive. “Given the costs of assessing students’ supposed learning styles and offering differentiated instruction,” write Rohrer and Pashler, the news of the lack of scientific evidence for learning styles “should come as good news to educators at all levels.”"
education  myths  myth  learning  learningstyles  2015  via:audreywatters  christianjarrett  haroldpashler  dougrohrer  howwelearn  paulkirschner  jeroenmerrienboer  scottlilienfeld  differentiation 
january 2015 by robertogreco
The Myth of Learning Styles - Finding Common Ground - Education Week
"Last year, Howard Gardner wrote a guest blog for Valerie Strauss called Multiple Intelligences Are Not Learning Styles. In the blog, Dr. Gardner wrote,
"one unanticipated consequence has driven me to distraction--and that's the tendency of many people, including persons whom I cherish, to credit me with the notion of 'learning styles' or to collapse 'multiple intelligences' with 'learning styles.' It's high time to relieve my pain and to set the record straight."

So why the blog? After all, Howard Gardner posted this last year.

The reality is that learning styles is still a widely held belief in schools. Perhaps it makes teachers feel that everyone can learn...which we know they can... but it also creates an easy fix for students who struggle. There really aren't easy fixes. Students, whether they struggle or not, need a multi-modal approach.

The Science of How We Learn

Enter John Hattie and Gregory Yates. In their new book, Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn (2014), Hattie and Yates go further to debunk the learning styles myth. Hattie and Yates wrote, "We are all visual learners, and we all are auditory learners, not just some of us. Laboratory studies reveal that we all learn when the inputs we experience are multi-modal or conveyed through different media."

Hattie and Yates go on to write,
"Claims such that 'some students learn from words, but others from images' are incorrect, as all students learn most effectively through linking images with words. These effects become especially strong when the words and images are made meaningful through accessing prior knowledge. Differences between students in learning are determined strongly by their prior knowledge, by the patterns they can recognise, and not by their learning style"

In the end

In his guest blog, Howard Gardner went on to offer some better suggestions as we all move forward away from the learning style approach. He wrote,
• Individualize your teaching as much as possible. Instead of "one size fits all," learn as much as you can about each student, and teach each person in ways that they find comfortable and learn effectively. Of course this is easier to accomplish with smaller classes. But 'apps' make it possible to individualize for everyone.
• Pluralize your teaching. Teach important materials in several ways, not just one (e.g. through stories, works of art, diagrams, role play). In this way you can reach students who learn in different ways. Also, by presenting materials in various ways, you convey what it means to understand something well. If you can only teach in one way, your own understanding is likely to be thin.
• Drop the term "styles" It will confuse others and it won't help either you or your students.

For many years, educators, including me, were under the false notion that there were learning styles. It's harmful if we box students into one way of learning, because that creates a one-size-fits-all mentality. However, offering different ways of learning is really helpful to students because they need to take in information in a variety of ways."
learningstyles  multipleintelligences  education  learning  howardgardner  johnhattie  gregoryyates  2014 
may 2014 by robertogreco
The Behaviour Guru: The Box: Shift Doesn’t Happen, Ken Robinson, and the creative epiphenomenal imbroglio
"Every time I hear about someone saying that kids learn in different ways these days, & that teachers have to get on board or get off the bus, I despair. No they don’t. People are the same as they’ve always been…learn in the same ways…no amount of expensive software or digital popcorn will alter that fact. This isn’t being reactionary—this is me trying to fight off the vultures that want to commodify education…turn it into something they can sell us. It isn’t. Education takes place in a space where the teacher & student exist in a relationship; where the learned instructs & guides the learner. It isn’t a software package; these things are tools, strategies, but not replacements.

& every time I hear people calling for a revolution in the curriculum, or a brand, brave new world of education, where pupils turn up & give the lessons in semi-circles, using the medium of the Haka to describe their physics homework, I roll my eyes & wonder when the bad noises in my head will stop…"
karlfisch  shifthappens  change  education  teaching  learning  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  commodification  technology  schools  schooling  via:preoccupations  kenrobinson  learningstyles  policy  thebox  2011  video  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Back into the Digital Breach: Help Me Out! | Beyond School
"10. I’m a talker. Listen to me for ten minutes & I’ll show you I understand more than the test scores show — & I’ll be way more interesting when doing it.9. I’m an artist…8. I’m a clown. Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert do history the way I’d like to.…7. I’m a musician…6. I’m interested in film-making…5. I’m a poet / rapper / songwriter…4. I’m a gamer. Let me imagine video games about this stuff & write business pitches explaining how they would help students learn Chinese history through gaming.3. I’m into business. Let me create business plans selling historical tours to China (or other ideas)…2. I’m a creative writer, not an academic essay writer…1. I’m a journalist. Let me write feature articles about stuff that interests me in a magazine or newspaper forma…

If you’re none of the above? Talk to me."

[see also: http://hoc10s2.wikispaces.com/Tech+Page ]
clayburell  teaching  projectbasedlearning  expression  writing  alternative  learning  history  video  videogames  film  filmmaking  fiction  classideas  learningstyles  entrepreneurship  music  art  drawing  conversation  discussion  pbl  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
The Possibly Fantastic Notion of 'A School for Everyone' - GOOD Education - GOOD [video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFG6O3hgT7w]
"I think the thing that slipped under the guard of most of us, many of us, is the role of what we call self-directedness or autonomous learning. I heard a quote the other day … from a CEO in a large corporation in America, who said: "I can no longer afford to employ somebody who isn't self-regulated. I don't have the time if I have to manage them." And yet our young people are in little blocks and little time frames and little bells are ringing. Are we really preparing them for that environment? ... We want reflective learners. We want to know about these young people beyond a simple learning style. We want to discover their learning DNA."
education  learning  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy  self-directedlearning  self-directed  gamechanging  autonomy  autodidacts  brucedixon  aschoolforeveryone  pedagogy  rubrics  assessment  math  creativity  reflection  collectivelearning  repository  ples  sharing  content  learningstyles  eportfolio 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Formal vs informal education - Joi Ito's Web
"[My sister an I] were discussing formal learning vs informal learning & how I probably survived because I had the privilege of having access to smart people & mentors, support of an understanding mother, an interest driven obsessive personality & access to the Internet. I completely agree that improving formal education & lowering dropout rates is extremely important, but I wonder how many people have personalities or interests that aren't really that suited for formal education, at least in its current form.

I wonder how many people there are like me who can't engage well w/ formal education, but don't have mentors or access to Internet & end up dropping out despite having a good formal education available to them. Is there a way to support & acknowledge importance of informal learning & allow those of us who work better in interest & self-motivated learning to do so w/out the social stigma & lack of support that is currently associated w/ dropping out of formal education?"
joiito  mimiito  formal  informal  informallearning  informaleducation  networkedlearning  formaleducation  tcsnmy  support  lcproject  learning  unschooling  deschooling  mentorship  apprenticeships  learningstyles  learningnetworks 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Tuttle SVC: This Proves My Point About Learning Styles! [see also: http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=51227]
"I don't actually have a point about learning styles, except to say that indeed, the hackneyed version that trickles down through professional development lectures to mandated lesson plan requirements is indeed hackneyed. But the truth is out there, and it is subtle and complex."
learning  learningstyles  tomhoffman  education  nuance 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Eide Neurolearning Blog: Visual and Dyslexic Thinking and Learning Styles and the Educational Controversies
"Another question we posed was 'do you use mind maps for mathematics?' and this also produced a very marked difference in response between the dyslexic and non-dyslexic students. NONE (my caps) of the non-dyslexic students used mind maps and many could not comprehend how they might be used for mathematics and asked if this was possible, whereas seven of the dyslexic students drew mind maps for themselves and made comments such as 'they are an invaluable part of my learning process', or 'they are essential for revision'."... "some 24% of dyslexic university students had chosen design schools while on the other hand avoiding further education or training that would require extensive essay writing...sought to examine whether any differences could be seen between dyslexics and non-dyslexics drawing pictures to represent conceptual terms. The dyslexic group were quicker at drawing pictures, had higher rates of using divergent symbols to represent opposing concepts"
learning  research  elearning  accessibility  dyslexia  learningstyles  drawing  design 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Education: Learning styles debunked
"Are you a verbal learner or a visual learner? Chances are, you've pegged yourself or your children as either one or the other and rely on study techniques that suit your individual learning needs. And you're not alone -- for more than 30 years, the notion that teaching methods should match a student's particular learning style has exerted a powerful influence on education. The long-standing popularity of the learning styles movement has in turn created a thriving commercial market amongst researchers, educators, and the general public."
howardgardner  learningstyles  learning  education  teaching  psychology  research  science 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Bunchberry & Fern: Learning Styles: fable-ous and tragic
"Here's a post/comment thread on Stephen Downes' blog where he has a lot to say on the subject of Learning Styles - or, more accurately, he criticises Daniel Willingham's 'facile treatment' of the subject on YouTube (and, elsewhere, Making up Facts). Like, Howard Rheingold, Stephen knows a thing or two about crap detection. Here are his own Principles for Evaluating Websites, for example, written in 2005. It's obviously something he's been thinking about a fair bit.*

But even if Stephen Downes is right and Daniel Willingham lying and facile (this is a very big 'if') then, surely, the dozens of Learning Styles Inventories can't all be right. But neither can they all be wrong? A practitioner who ignores all new ideas until they're 'scientifically proven' runs the risk of sabotaging innovation. Who are we to turn to?"
learning  information  learningstyles  cognition  cognitive  rationality  studies  science  existence  communication  stephendownes  howardrheingold  crapdetection  literacy  danielwillingham  education  research  howardgardner 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Big6 » What is the Big6?
"Developed by educators Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz, the Big6 is the most widely-known and widely-used approach to teaching information and technology skills in the world. The Big6 is an information and technology literacy model and curriculum, implemented in thousands of schools - K through higher education. Some people call the Big6 an information problem-solving strategy because with the Big6, students are able to handle any problem, assignment, decision or task. Here are the six stages we call the BIG6. Two sub-stages are part of each main category in the Big6 model:"
information  informationliteracy  via:hrheingold  education  teaching  notetaking  learningstyles  literacy  assessment  ict  studyskilss  big6  tcsnmy 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Wake Up and Smell the New Epistemology - ChronicleReview.com
""It is imperative that someone studying this generation realize that we have the world at our fingertips — & the world has been at our fingertips for our entire lives. I think this access to information seriously undermines this generation's view of authority, especially traditional scholastic authority." ... We [once] chose what knowledge needed to be conveyed to students in what order. Now ... students assign us no more authority than anyone else ... & decide what's worth knowing themselves, we need to reorganize our classes. We need to teach as if our students were colleagues from another department. That means determining what our colleagues may already know, building from that shared knowledge, adapting pre-existing analytic skills, then connecting those fledgling skills & knowledge to a deeper understanding of the discipline we love. ... we need to approach our classrooms as public intellectuals eager to share our insights graciously with a wide audience of fellow citizens"
via:preoccupations  learning  education  change  internet  online  authority  academia  academics  learningstyles  highereducation  colleges  universities  pedagogy  literacy  medialiteracy  knowledge  teaching  epistemology 
january 2009 by robertogreco
ed4wb » Blog Archive » Five Educational Myths
"1. Boosting self-esteem improves academic performance and diminishes troublesome behavior 2. Learning Styles Don’t Exist 3. Students will not learn unless they are given grades 4. Homework promotes higher achievement and promotes responsibility 5. Getting through the curriculum is what’s important. Slowing down and getting deep into a topic might have to wait. Higher order thinking skills have to come after low-level skills have been taught."
teaching  education  self-esteem  homework  myths  learningstyles  curriculum  grading  assessment  tcsnmy  deschooling  unschooling  homeschool  slow 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Will at Work Learning: People remember 10%, 20%...Oh Really?
"It will seem obvious, but each and every one of us must take responsibility for the information we transmit to ensure its integrity. More importantly, we must be actively skeptical of the information we receive."
myths  myth  cognition  coneofexperience  pseudoscience  pedagogy  education  statistics  learning  teaching  training  memory  trust  information  literacy  reading  knowledge  instruction  learningstyles  experience  research  media  retention  debunking  coneoflearning 
january 2008 by robertogreco

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