Learning Styles and Professional Development

I recently read that the concept of learning styles has been debunked.  Several studies were conducted and no evidence was found to support this long-held theory of learning.  A Science Daily article from 2009 claims that the studies that supported learning styles, in retrospect, usually failed to meet the criteria for a valid scientific study. Does this apply to Multiple Intelligences theory I wonder?

I guess the grain of salt is that, you can find a study to support or deny just about every theory, but one thing always rings true regardless of how your brain encodes.  Interest.  Be it general intrigue or practical self-interest, its got to be there to truly learn.  Repetition can work for short-term memorization, but interest seems to last. I have a renewed interest in this because this summer I have a few professional development workshops scheduled. 

The last thing I want is to turn people away from technology and 21st Century pedagogy, especially my colleagues.  So, I guess my question is: What is best way to deliver PD to adult teachers?  I have read about some hokey tips like bring chocolate, put something on paper and hand it out, play a team-building game, tell a joke, etc.  On the advice of my consigliere, Joey Till, I am going to run my workshops like I run my classroom.  I am going to show a short 5-10 minute presentation/video to gain their interest and then let them work; a few tasks to complete and something larger to work on in the background.  I will bounce around as needed and help people individually.  For the longer workshops, I plan on repeating this procedure a few times. 

I want to avoid typical PD seminars and workshops where someone stands and lectures for an hour about not standing and lecturing.  If the pedagogy they espouse is so useful, why not use it?  Hopefully my classroom model is a learning style that works on adults.  Thoughts?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.