Historical Thinking, Pedagogy, teaching

Learning Styles, Shmearning Shmyles?

Labor Day Parade, Union Square, New York, 1882...

Labor Day Parade, Union Square, New York City, 1882 - Image via Wikipedia

It’s Labor Day, so I shouldn’t really be writing too much here (given that I’m a unionized historian/teacher blogger), but I did just come across this interesting story about learning styles and the scientific veracity (or lack thereof) to support that concept. Have a listen:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

It’s nice to know that many of my observations and approaches, which I’ve really developed simply based on experience and anecdotal observations, seem to be supported here by the scientific research. For instance, I’m a big fan of changing things up (ergo, my borderline irrational vitriol targeted toward PowerPoint Presentations with words), and I’m a major advocate of getting people to learn the same concept in more than one way, which I see being something that students can successfully accomplish be reorganizing information in meaningful ways.

In any event, enjoy the rest of the long weekend, and I hope that reading this and listening to the story isn’t so taxing as to violate the spirit of the holiday.


One thought on “Learning Styles, Shmearning Shmyles?

  1. Rob Killips says:

    Nate –

    I find the article fascinating as so many universities and other educational “experts” seem to hang their hats so strongly on the learning styles and the strategies to reach them. However, I agree with your assertion that it is simply good practice to teach major concepts in several ways regardless of “learning styles.” I think it is important as educators we use different methods as some lend themselves to simple memorization (your PowerPoint example) while other methods are more geared toward applying understanding.
    In branching off and reading your 2009 post about PowerpPonts dulling education I was fascinated as it was in agreement about much of what I witness on a daily basis in my school. Many teachers believe because they put a PowerPoint in front of students that they are “technologically advanced” when in fact, it may be the case that these teachers are faliing everything we have learned about the 21st century students. These PowerPoints have increased these teachers time spent on traditional “sit and get” and have removed students from the application of knowledge that can be used if students are opened up to a wider variety of technologies.

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