Tuesday, January 17, 2006
All styles no substance
I always wince when I hear people warble on about Learning Styles. Roger Schank thinks educationalists are simply confusing personality with the flaky, faddish idea of ‘learning styles’. Frank Coffield proved him right. Through Learning and Skills Development Agency research, he found a ‘bedlam of contradictory claims’ with a ‘proliferation of concepts, instruments and strategies’. In total they uncovered 71 competing theories. All were found ‘seriously wanting’ with ‘serious deficiencies’. Many were downright dangerous as they ‘over-simplify, label and stereotype’. But when did serious research ever affect the behaviour of the education and training world?