Blogs About Reading
Sound It Out
Along with her background as a researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.
Unlearning learning styles
I read with interest this list of 10 things teachers should unlearn from What Ed Said. The post generated lots of conversation, especially on the "Technology integration is optional" and "Students are obliged to respect teachers" points.
One item that would make my list of 10 things for teachers to unlearn would be the notion that teachers should alter instruction based on learning styles. Learning styles have always provided a tempting and intuitive notion: Determine a student's learning style, and then provide instruction in a format that matches the preference of the student (for example, provide a visual learner with predominantly visual information).
Despite the boxes of books and materials designed to help teachers teach to students' learning styles, there's just isn't any research to justify changing teaching practices to match learning styles. As the Learning Styles Concepts and Evidence review concludes, "limited education resources would better be devoted to adopting other educational practices that have a strong evidence base, of which there are an increasing number."
Want to hear the same information straight up from UVA cognitive psychologist Daniel Willingham? This Learning Styles Don't Exist video on YouTube is helpful and informative. Another source of good information on the topic comes from the learning styles search results of Teach Effectively.