Saturday, May 18, 2013

Myth Buster

There is a television show or was called Myth Busters.  It would take some commonly accepted ideas and reveal them that our common knowledge is often wrong.  What we fail to understand is that what we believe to be true often guides our behavior.  It has been noted that "it is not what we do not know that hurts us the most.  But what we know that is not true."  This has led to a number of books showing that we really are irrational about many things around us.  Part of our problem is that we never ask, "is there any quality research done on this?"

Education is going through a major shake up as our understanding of how we learn increases.  Some bemoan the fact that we are raising children with less and less motivation to do serious reading and writing.  All of the TV and video games are taking time away from serious literacy learning...or maybe not.  Perhaps we are simply following the path of least resistance. We are designed as learning machines.  The key is finding out how we most easily learn and then design our learning and teaching methods to follow these paths where possible.

There are basic learning methods (we are designed to learn certain things in certain ways) that enable us to learning the information and knowledge that will protect us and enhance our ability to live and work in our world.  We have built in mind apps (heuristics) that help us navigate the world around us.  And we have added learning methods, such as reading and writing and programming.  These secondary methods enable us to do much more than our native programs permit.

It is time to understand that while we may be less literate in the future we will become more knowledgeable and capable to face the future.  Read this article by Cisco:  Read Now

Don't be too disappointed to find out that our oft quoted pyramid of learning is not quite what it seems:

We remember

10% of what we read
20% of what we hear
30% of what we see
etc.

Here is another shocker for some: There is no validated research showing the validity of basing teaching on Learning Styles.  In fact the validated research shows that the whole premise of Learning Styles is on very shaky ground.  See Learning Styles Debunked.

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