Tesia Marshik gave an interesting 18' TEDxUWLaCrose talk in 2015 entitled, "Don't Believe Everything You Think: Learning Styles and the Importance of Critical Self-Reflection."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=855Now8h5Rs. (The first 11' are recommended).
In her talk, she dispels the myth that there are learning styles. Instead you may have a preference for one of the different styles: auditory, visual or kinesthetic but experiments show that they don't actually enhance learning. The style depends more on what you are trying to learn i.e the content and the best way is likely to stimulate all styles in combination.
She argues that most of what you learn is tied to concepts; its meaning to you; the way you organize it and connect it to other things; your understanding of it. Hence strict memorization, saying it aloud, flip cards, and writing out notes a second time do not aid learning. She goes on to explain the seminal experiments by Chase W.G and Simon H.A. (1973) Perception in chess. Cognitive Psychology, 4 55-81.
In these experiments, chess masters were much better at reconstructing a 20-piece chess position from a game in process that they were shown for 5 seconds as compared to a novice player, however the two groups performed equally poorly, about 4 pieces placed correctly, if the same pieces were just placed randomly. For the chess masters, the game in process chess positions had meaning and hence they could understand it and then recall it.
For me, this provides additional support for the use of applications and examples, case studies, case-based testing, field trips, research projects, science fairs, workshops, laboratory experiments, debates, discussions, student presentations, peer review, guest speakers and other experiential methods that demand a level of creativity, critical thinking and reflection in an effort to promote real understanding over too much rote memorization. As a result, I will continue to integrate more of these into my teaching.
43 moves into the greatest game ever played: Garry Kasparov def. Veselin Topalov 1999.
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