Jay Mathews catches up with last December’s report from Psychological Science in the Public Interest thoroughly debunking the idea of “learning styles.” But he misses, I think, an important DC angle in his piece. Not long ago, a local teacher gave Mathews a copy of his evaluation, in which he “got only 1 out of 4 points for not catering to multiple learning styles.” If there’s no scientific basis for belief in learning styles, how can it be justified as a means of evaluating teachers? Why isn’t anyone calling out DCPS on this?
Old conventional wisdom: teachers must target students’ different learning styles. New CW: Teach like learning styles exist, even if they don’t. Proposed improved CW: Teach in a way that engages students and makes the lesson stick, and ignore pseudoscience.