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September 15, 2016

Maybe I was lucky that when I went to school all the teachers had to worry about was whether I might catch polio (I didn't), I could read and count (I could) and what sport I might be good at (none) and didn't have to worry about what pigeon hole I should be confined to. I had something to say in Australasian Science magazine about a teaching fad.

School Daze

There is something vaguely unethical about experimenting with the ways that children are taught in schools, because getting things wrong can have a serious effect on the children's intellectual and social development.

Teaching has always been subjected to fashion and fad but in most cases the children manage to come out at the end of the process with at least some grasp of what used to be called "The Three Rs", although as someone who went through school learning grammar, spelling, mental arithmetic, times tables and neat writing (the last of which I never really mastered) I'm a little concerned at statements I've seen recently that nobody needs to know arithmetic because everyone has a calculator and it's not necessary to teach any form of handwriting because everyone has a keyboard and what is typed is automatically checked for correct spelling but spelling and grammar aren't really necessary for communication anyway.

One comparatively recent fashionable theory is called "Learning Styles", which posits that children have different ways of learning and teaching methods should be individually tailored to the appropriate style for each child. Scientific evidence of the validity of the theory has been claimed.

The three styles are:

You can read some more of this here.


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