Mythbusters: Education Edition

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.

6 Responses to “Mythbusters: Education Edition”

  1. Bailey Says:

    You missed an important conclusion, if we spent the money used on these research project to teach children, we could publish the results.

  2. Dana Johnson Says:

    Hello, my name is Dana Johnson and I am an EDM 310 student at the University of South Alabama. I read your post and watched the video above. It was very interesting. With the different learning skills I always said I was an visual learner, but I see that the skills are really based on learning the things period. Everyone learns different and at a different paste.

  3. Brent LaForce Says:

    My name is Brent LaForce and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of Alabama. I was assigned this post to comment on. And after reading it and watching the video I realized that it is astonishing that we only obtain 10% of what we read. Also the video about learning styles explaining they do not exist. I always thought that it was easier to see something and learn it rather then hear something and be able to commit it to memory. But somethings are not able to be visual.

  4. Mathew Says:

    Thanks for visiting, Brent. To be clear, the idea that we only retain 10% of what we read is not true.

  5. Chris Bigenho Says:

    I wrote on the learning styles issue back in October when I came across two interesting articles- one premised on the existence of learning styles and the other stating that learning styles did not exist. Here is the result of my thinking at that time:

  6. emprestimos Says:

    The debate shall continue ever and ever…was wondering, do I actually retain only 10% of what I read? Well, guess it depends on what you are reading…when I am reading statistics…it might be just 10% but when you are reading about gossips or other stories, the percentage is much more 😉

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