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robertogreco : multipleintelligences   6

Learning Modalities | Nicholas Meier
"There is a common belief in education that knowing one’s, or one’s students’, preferred learning modality is important or at least helpful in designing learning strategies for ourselves or them. When I do a search of learning modalities I find dozens of articles in educational journals about how to use this information and why it is important. The interesting thing is that the empirical evidence does not support the claim, despite its popularity. And this lack of support is not for lack of investigation.

First I want to be clear on what learning modalities are and are not. They are basically the receptive modes of taking in the world, of learning—most commonly aural (hearing,), visual (seeing), and kinesthetic (feeling, touching). These are not to be confused with learning styles (of which there are many versions) such as field dependent or independent, liking to work alone or with others, risk-avoidant or risk-taker, introverted, extroverted. Nor is it to be confused with Gardner’s seven or eight Intelligences, which are ways of understanding, and really more the active side than the receptive side.

We believe in our modality preference for the same reason humans believe many things that are not true. It just seems so intuitively true. We all have a sense of how we best take in information. Also, it is so often repeated – and even accepted by experts – that it must be true. There are lots of tests designed by psychologists to measure this and help you figure out your strength. When I first took psychology in the 1980s this dichotomy between the common sense belief and the evidence was pointed out by one of my professors. Even then it had been studied and found to be false. In the 30 years since then, the literature has continued to pour out on how to teach to modalities, and the evidence that such teaching does not actually enhance learning has also continued, and continued to be ignored by the practitioner side of the field. Special education teachers might say, “Well true for regular education, but in special education these differences are real.” However, most of the research is with special education (as are most of the advise articles), and it is just as false in special education as in regular education.

It is a fact that in humans it is the visual area of the brain that is really the biggest—it is just the way that humans have evolved to take in the world. This is true of everyone unless they are blind or brain damaged in some way. As social beings, however, we also interact with other humans to a large extent though hearing. It is our verbal communication with others that to a large extent fulfills our social needs. Many people claim that, although sight is more central to our taking in the word, being deaf is worse, because it isolates us more than blindness.

And whenever I ask about how people like to learn (not meaning modalities) virtually everyone says “Oh, I’m one of those people that needs to be active.” We are all kinesthetic, we all learn though doing, touching. And again, the humans have evolved to actually need, desire, touch. There is a famous experiment where a baby monkey will choose the artificial mother that provides soft embrace to the one that provides milk.

What I have discussed is that all of these modalities are central to being human. What the research has shown is that when you use all modalities all learners learn better! This is really a boon for teachers, since instead of feeling like you need to test each of your students for their strengths and then designing separate lessons for each type learner, now what you are best off doing is designing lessons that utilize all modalities. The more modalities you use, the more all students will do better. For all students relying on just one or two is exactly that—less.

I give the example of my getting directions. I could just hear it (or read it) (auditory) “Turn right here, turn left there….” Or I cold look at on a map (visual). But getting both helps me remember it even better. And then what I like to do, to really get it down pat, is stand up and point the direction of each turn, in turn, maybe even turning my body as well, as I go over it (kinesthetic).

So take heart, the truth in this case makes out teaching easier, not harder.

As the author of the textbook I am using for my current course on learning theory puts it, “These differences can be reliably measured, but research has not identified the effects of teaching to these styles; certainly presenting information in multiple modalities might be useful” (p.129)."
nicholasmeier  learning  howwelearn  modalities  learningmodalities  learningstyles  howardgardner  multipleintelligences  humans  2015 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The Myth of Learning Styles - Finding Common Ground - Education Week
"Last year, Howard Gardner wrote a guest blog for Valerie Strauss called Multiple Intelligences Are Not Learning Styles. In the blog, Dr. Gardner wrote,
"one unanticipated consequence has driven me to distraction--and that's the tendency of many people, including persons whom I cherish, to credit me with the notion of 'learning styles' or to collapse 'multiple intelligences' with 'learning styles.' It's high time to relieve my pain and to set the record straight."

So why the blog? After all, Howard Gardner posted this last year.

The reality is that learning styles is still a widely held belief in schools. Perhaps it makes teachers feel that everyone can learn...which we know they can... but it also creates an easy fix for students who struggle. There really aren't easy fixes. Students, whether they struggle or not, need a multi-modal approach.

The Science of How We Learn

Enter John Hattie and Gregory Yates. In their new book, Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn (2014), Hattie and Yates go further to debunk the learning styles myth. Hattie and Yates wrote, "We are all visual learners, and we all are auditory learners, not just some of us. Laboratory studies reveal that we all learn when the inputs we experience are multi-modal or conveyed through different media."

Hattie and Yates go on to write,
"Claims such that 'some students learn from words, but others from images' are incorrect, as all students learn most effectively through linking images with words. These effects become especially strong when the words and images are made meaningful through accessing prior knowledge. Differences between students in learning are determined strongly by their prior knowledge, by the patterns they can recognise, and not by their learning style"

In the end

In his guest blog, Howard Gardner went on to offer some better suggestions as we all move forward away from the learning style approach. He wrote,
• Individualize your teaching as much as possible. Instead of "one size fits all," learn as much as you can about each student, and teach each person in ways that they find comfortable and learn effectively. Of course this is easier to accomplish with smaller classes. But 'apps' make it possible to individualize for everyone.
• Pluralize your teaching. Teach important materials in several ways, not just one (e.g. through stories, works of art, diagrams, role play). In this way you can reach students who learn in different ways. Also, by presenting materials in various ways, you convey what it means to understand something well. If you can only teach in one way, your own understanding is likely to be thin.
• Drop the term "styles" It will confuse others and it won't help either you or your students.

For many years, educators, including me, were under the false notion that there were learning styles. It's harmful if we box students into one way of learning, because that creates a one-size-fits-all mentality. However, offering different ways of learning is really helpful to students because they need to take in information in a variety of ways."
learningstyles  multipleintelligences  education  learning  howardgardner  johnhattie  gregoryyates  2014 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Steven Berlin Johnson: Instead of building cathedrals in learning, we need to learn to build cathedrals | Creativity, Imagination, and Innovation in Education Symposium
"“Collaboration between different intelligences is the hallmark of innovative spaces,” he remarked. But it wasn’t always easy for Johnson, who has an undergraduate degree in semiotics from Brown University and a graduate degree in English Literature from Columbia, to see how science and the humanities could be entwined. It wasn’t until he was exposed to the work of former Columbia Professor Franco Moretti that he realized bridges could be built joining the two.

Moretti gained fame for controversially applying quantitative scientific methods to the humanities. Johnson mentioned reading Moretti’s Signs Taken for Wonders, and the mind-blowing impact the professor’s use of Darwinian techniques to analyze literature had on him. It was the first time he saw scientific procedures being employed to evaluate literature.

From that moment on, Johnson began researching iconic innovators."
cathedralsoflearning  everythingbadisgoodforyou  gaming  games  multidisciplinarythinking  connectivesyntheticintelligence  connectiveintelligence  multidisciplinary  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  generalists  specialization  interconnectivity  patterns  conenctions  innovation  multipleintelligences  diversity  problemsolving  systemsthinking  parenting  videogames  teaching  schools  collaboration  gutenberg  crosspollination  feathers  exaptation  devonthink  evolution  stephenjaygould  commonplacebooks  creativity  darwin  francomoretti  semiotics  hunches  learning  2011  stevenjohnson  charlesdarwin  interconnected 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Big Thinkers: Howard Gardner on Multiple Intelligences | Edutopia
"The student may have a good grade on the exam, we may think that he or she is learning, but a year or two later there's nothing left...I think that we teach way too many subjects and we cover way too much material and the end result is that students have a very superficial knowledge...I actually don't care if a child studies physics or biology or geology or astronomy before he goes to college. There's plenty of time to do that kind of detailed work. I think what's really important is to begin to learn to think scientifically...The most important thing about assessment is knowing what it is that you should be able to do...In school, assessment is mystifying. Nobody knows what's going to be on the test, and when the test results go back, neither the teacher nor the student knows what to do. So what I favor is highlighting for kids from the day they walk into school the performances and exhibitions for which they're going to be accountable."
howardgardner  assessment  schools  education  tcsnmy  projectbasedlearning  learning  technology  multipleintelligences  iq  inquiry  teaching  slowlearning  childcenteredlearning  grading  grades  testing  tests  gamechanging  cv  edutopia  pbl 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Not Every Child Is Secretly a Genius - ChronicleReview.com
"Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences was a great idea and worth investigating. It's just not panning out. Hanging on to the theory for nostalgic or political value is not science. It's time that we begin to work with the reality that we have, not the one we wish we had. To do otherwise would be just plain stupid."
howardgardner  multipleintelligences  education  psychology  criticism  parenting  intelligence  children  culture  ideas  iq  philosophy 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Weblogg-ed » Web 2.0 Not for Everyone (?)
"I know for a fact that one very well known educational consultant who speaks about these shifts doesn’t have much of a 2.0 footprint because he/she simply abhors writing, and I’m sure there are millions of folks for whom blogging or wiki-ing or all these other tools will be a struggle." = My big problem with technology as the new one size fits all solution.
comments  willrichardson  pedagogy  cv  writing  online  howardgardner  learning  multipleintelligences  socialmedia  curriculum  technology  web  blogging  wikis  schools  teaching  parenting  kenrobinson 
january 2009 by robertogreco

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