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Two thoughts

February 21, 2009 pm28 7:21 pm

From Rudbeckia at Learning Curves: Learning styles are the academic version of horoscopes.

And from me: often the hardest thing about starting out teaching math is not how hard math is for students; it’s how easy math is for teachers.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Rachel permalink
    February 21, 2009 pm28 10:53 pm 10:53 pm

    I half agree about learning styles. But what I’ve learned in my volunteer political life that I might not have learned in my “work” life is that adults approach problems in drastically different ways, and I suspect kids do too.

    I don’t think it’s wise to pigeonhole kid’s into learning styles — I’m particularly uncomfortable with the idea that girls have fundamentally different styles from boys — but realizing that different kids respond in different ways to different approaches seems important.

  2. February 22, 2009 am28 6:32 am 6:32 am

    I recommend to all who follow this topic … Dan Willingham, cognitive psychologist, “Learning Styles Don’t Exist.”

  3. February 23, 2009 pm28 5:30 pm 5:30 pm

    here’s the thing about learning styles: get some
    (they’re not handed out at birth like eye color
    but must themselves be learned [like any other
    “style” rightly so-called]).

    they’re not much like horoscopes since nearly everybody
    claiming to “have a sign” in the learning-style zodiac
    claims to have the *same one* (i’m a “visual” learner
    [that’s why i can’t read]).

  4. February 23, 2009 pm28 5:39 pm 5:39 pm

    but your remark, JD, is the interesting one.
    some version of this should be shouted from the rooftops.

    students thinking that math is impossible is a real problem.
    one that makes my job very difficult.
    but give me some access to those students
    and, working together, we’ll deal with it
    (and change their minds).

    self-styled “professionals” claiming my job is easy?
    they actually make it *impossible*.
    they’ve cut off all access and demand the right
    to speak without listening; their minds *won’t* be changed
    (i’m just supposed to pretend to adopt their absurd “belief”s
    or get out of what they weirdly think is their
    pool even though they never play in it).

    i’d quit in a heartbeat if my loved ones would forgive me for it.

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