RESPONSE MUST BE EXACTLY 150 WORDS!!
Use the files and the link below to answer the ending question.
In this unit, I have asked you to investigate learning styles and how we might use them in a classroom. I have asked you to consider how we learn, which I believe is key to understanding how we teach. Finally I have asked you to watch several videos from Mooney. His unique specialty is the way in which we label special needs children, and what are some of the implications for the classroom. These are three separate, yet very connected aspects of what it means to be an effective teacher. In your own words, summarize what you think you have learned from this unit?
Article: The Teaching- Learning process: A Discussion of Models. (Link Below) http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/papers/modeltch.html
RESPONSE MUST BE EXACTLY 150 WORDS!!
According to a study commissioned by Psychological Science in the Public Interest titled “Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence,” a recent review of existing research asserts that scientists have failed to show conclusively that students learn better when they are taught according to their preferred modality. The researchers claim that in dozens of studies reporting the success of teaching to different learning styles there is no conclusive scientific evidence to support such claims.
They state that in order to prove that student success depends on learning style specific opportunities, a very specific type of study needs to take place and very specific data needs to be collected. For most of the studies out there, this data or setup did not exist. For those that did, the results “flatly contradict the learning-style theory.” Of course more studies are recommended.
So what does this mean for best practices 30 years or so after the development of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence theory? What about the learning style inventories that have been conducted since the 1970’s? Should we just ignore them? Teachers at all levels, who have taught in the last 20 years have been encouraged to vary their delivery techniques and assessment methods to include multi-modal techniques to address the needs of all learners. Are we all wrong (as teachers, instructors, and professors)?
A common idea that is asserted over and over is that good teaching is just good teaching and we know it when we see it. It doesn’t matter if that teaching takes place in a brick and mortar classroom or in a fully online course. Instructors, students and administrators know who the good teachers are, seek out their courses, and succeed in their classes. Is that because they vary their delivery methods to address the needs of multi-modal learners? According to this recent study the answer is no.
Looking back on my learning experiences, when I think about my best teachers in life, they were lecturers or worksheet givers. But, if I’m an auditory learner, that may be the method that appeals to me most.
Where does this leave us? I think the article in and of itself starts many different conversations. Time and future research will tell. For now, I think we need to focus on the good teachers that we all know and try to do a little bit of what they are doing. If we do that, then all of us instructors out there are doing the best thing for our students multi-modally or otherwise.
- Pamela Kachka, M.A.Ed. –
Think You're An Auditory Or Visual Learner? Scientists Say It's Unlikely
August 29, 2011
We've all heard the theory that some students are visual learners, while others are auditory learners. And still other kids learn best when lessons involve movement.
But should teachers target instruction based on perceptions of students' strengths? Several psychologists say education could use some "evidence-based" teaching techniques, not unlike the way doctors try to use "evidence-based medicine."
Psychologist Dan Willingham at the University of Virginia, who studies how our brains learn, says teachers should not tailor instruction to different kinds of learners. He says we're on more equal footing than we may think when it comes to how our brains learn. And it's a mistake to assume students will respond and remember information better depending on how it's presented.
For example, if a teacher believes a student to be a visual learner, he or she might introduce the concept of addition using pictures or groups of objects, assuming that child will learn better with the pictures than by simply "listening" to a lesson about addition.
In fact, an entire industry has sprouted based on learning styles. There are workshops for teachers, products targeted at different learning styles and some schools that even evaluate students based on this theory.
This prompted Doug Rohrer, a psychologist at the University of South Florida, to look more closely at the learning style theory.
When he reviewed studies of learning styles, he found no scientific evidence backing up the idea. "We have not found evidence from a randomized control trial supporting any of these," he says, "and until such evidence exists, we don't recommend that they be used."
Willingham suggests it might be more useful to figure out similarities in how our brains learn, rather than differences. And, in that case, he says, there's a lot of common ground. For example, variety. "Mixing things up is something we know is scientifically supported as something that boosts attention," he says, adding that studies show that when students pay closer attention, they learn better.
And recent studies find that our brains retain information better when we spread learning over a longer period of time, say months or even a year, versus cramming it into a few days or weeks. Rohrer and colleagues nationwide are currently researching what teaching methods work best for all students, but only using the evidence.
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Research shows that teachers reach about 80% of any given group. There will always be students we are not reaching. Forgive me if that sounds like defeatism, but with all our current methods, that is the best we are doing. Anecdotally (not actual research!), the data I've gathered from my classes has been the same whether I run myself ragged being Super Teacher, Queen of Differentiation or when I'm just Pretty Darn Good Teacher, mixing it up, working with attention spans, giving interesting material and crafting meaningful assignments.