Here are two must-see items for teachers before going in to your next staff meeting.
The first is an article from researcher, Will Thalheimer, that suggests that the pyramid that claims we remember 90% of what we teach others and only 10% of what we read is fabricated. Yes, we are more likely to remember information if we have a chance to apply it than if we simply read it in a book or hear someone tell it to us. However, ascribing percentages to the amount of material we retain based on how we receive the information has been made up. If you attend any professional development over the next year, be prepared to hear it repeated.
Next, is a video from Professor and Psychologist, Daniel T Willingham at the University of Virginia who says that Learning Styles don’t exist. Yes, students do tend to have preferences such as preferring information visually to orally. However, there are certain subjects that lend themselves to auditory instruction and others that require visual information.
The takeaways. 1) Educational research is silly. 2) Even though these bogus myths have been perpetuated and are widely believed—and come from a sincere desire to improve education, neither has done much to change teaching practice. Most teachers are still teaching as if everyone’s an auditory learner who gets their information from books. There’s less planning and less work involved in teaching that way.