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'Everyday Mathematics' authors to visit Palo Alto
Original post made
on Sep 29, 2009
Authors of Everyday Mathematics, the new textbook in Palo Alto's elementary classrooms this fall, will visit Palo Alto Sept. 30 for a session with parents.
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Monday, September 28, 2009, 4:08 PM
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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 5, 2009 at 10:57 pm
Learning Styles and respect,
Please look at what I wrote before you leap--i.e. I never used the word "style" and I would never use it in such a jargon-y fashion.
However, since you would jump, I wouldn't say that that clip demonstrates that learning styles don't exist, simply that not all types of knowledge lend themselves to multiple modalities of learning. The professor, in fact, admits that there are people with stronger visualization skills than others.
What he demonstrates is that a rather limited test of different learning styles (remembering a list of words) doesn't lend itself to multiple styles of learning--because of the nature of the task. It would have been interesting if he'd taken the task a bit further--spelling the words, for example. How much does it or does it not help to write the words out v. look at them?
This is one reason why I prefer to look at things in print--it's easier to see the parameters of the experiment.
Basically, the prof. is claiming that his test disproves more than it does. Not an uncommon gambit in academia. You see it on the other side of the debate as well.
However, will someone with strong visualization skills have an easier time recalling the shapes of countries--a visual task? Sounds like, yes, indeed, they will. And, I suspect, they are likely to be drawn to pursuits that take advantage of these aptitudes. Can one use the word "style" to describe this? Why not? It's not a scientifically precise term, after all.
In my case, I read much faster than people speak and much, much faster than my computer puts through little YouTube clips. And, yes, my visualization skills are strong.
As for "whacky learning theories" transforming education--history is full of them. Public education and literacy for all are two big ones I can think of. Then there were those very odd theories about women actually being capable of learning anything. Current education is very, very different from education 150 years ago.
Really, respect, you set your self up with a comment like that. When you snipe at someone for "incessant analysis", it pays to think for three seconds before posting. But, hey, maybe masochism's your bag.
The word "style" has everything to do with personal likes and dislikes. I'm sorry to see such a solid old word subverted into jargon. You might also ponder what causes those likes and dislikes.
Though I was not attempting to start a debate on *that subject* I have a preference, never said it was otherwise. In part, because I have my own set of critiques of Howard Gardiner's work on multiple intelligences--I find them more useful on a practical level (why not try it this way if that way didn't work?) than theoretically sound--doesn't hang together at all.
Back to the topic, from that sounds of it, there's a dispute about definitions here--and how far research can be stretched to support a particular system. You feel, as I understand it, that some research is being ignored and that some is being unduly appropriated.
As for "misinterpret"--not precisely. I was extending the logic to get a clearer idea of what you meant--hadn't gotten to the point of interpretation. We do not know each other and do not share a common frame of reference on this issue. As much as anything, I'm trying to cut through the jargon.
Nor, I think, do we share the same concerns. I don't have a "side" on this argument. (Which has constituted a side in itself.) My concern is will my kid learn math? So, far, I think yes.
This is why I was interested in your speculation about why kids didn't learn with spirals. That was a little different that what I'd been reading (And, honestly, was not my experience with math as a child. It was not an issue of misunderstanding, but of not-understanding. If I didn't understand something, I didn't misuse it; I didn't use it.) The main issue I've heard is that the kids aren't as solid on fundamentals as they could be. That strikes me as something that can be dealt with with supplemental materials.
Is it ideal? No--but I don't think there's an ideal system because children differ in their likes, dislikes and aptitudes.