Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Please label yourselves for me. And do it symbolically because I don't really like to read.

From now on, I'm going to post in green because I teach science and science and nature are green.
I'm a visual learner, and I don't like to have to learn words (or names).  So from now on, I would appreciate it if all of the CM geographers would post in aqua, the historians would use yellow, the music and drama proffies should use pink, humanists please try brown, and jocks and people who actually teach basket weaving please stick with orange.  Thank you.  I know you pride yourselves on your prepared lectures and lessons, and that this blog gets 10s of thousands of views weekly, but please adapt them specifically for me, regardless of whether or not the color diminishes any of your points.  Every one of us learns differently, and your effort to reach me will make a better future for all of us.  Love, Wombat

That's going to be my audition.  So, you think I can get this Student Services position I saw listed on the HR page?  It pays almost twice what I'm making and for some reason you only need a BA.  In anything.  You don't need an education in education, psychology, biology, law... or really anything plausibly preparative.  I guess that's why all they do is send me ridiculous letters mapping out ill-conceived plans. 


  1. My snappy comeback to being whined at about "learning styles" is: "When you have bosses in the real world, they're going to want you to do things THEIR way." Good luck on getting the position, and remember: the power you will have in that job can only be used for good or evil. ;-)/2

  2. Brown is appropriately poopy for the state of the humanities today.

  3. I once had a student email me and say, "Since I am a visual learner, please prepare diagrams and illustrations to explain all your lectures. I will pick them up on Friday."

  4. @RachelH: That sounds like some of my colleagues.

    I'm going to cry now. Excuse me.

  5. Learning styles are just another made-up, unproven edu-gimmick, as noted in this study (and earlier in a CM post a while back):

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  7. @No Cookies -- thanks for posting the link. I heard something like this on (I cringe as I write this, it's so hackneyed) NPR. I'm glad to have some science ammo to back it up.

    The one think that I've told my students is that REGARDLESS of what style of learner you are, EVERYONE needs to consolidate knowledge. That means that when you get to the end of a reading or lecture, you should ask yourself, "What was that about?" You should write some stuff down.

    Students from years past have emailed me to say that this was the single best piece of study advice they got in college. (It may have been the only piece, I don't know.)

    And it did not involve making bizarro handouts.

  8. I always assumed that learning styles (if they exist) might provide some information to the *student* about the most effective method for them for creating those summaries BlackDog speaks of, or outlining an essay, or whatever, but, by the college level, the instructor shouldn't be the one bridging the gap between how information is delivered and how the student best retains it. As with learning disabilities (at least the milder ones), I tend to think that, by the time college comes around and the working world looms, the student needs to be working on coping mechanisms that allow hir to deal with the variety of stuff that will be coming at hir from people with all kinds of styles, (dis)abilities, etc. with as little outward fuss as possible. Of course legal accommodations are available in the work world as well, but as Froderick says, bosses want you to do it their way, and don't want to hear too much about how you manage to do that. Accommodations or no accommodations, someone who can manage to do that will be retained and promoted, and someone who can't, won't.


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