Saturday, November 16, 2013

Learning Styles - More Myth than Truth

The following is copied from Teaching High School Psychology Web Blog: http://teachinghighschoolpsychology.blogspot.com/2013/10/learning-styles-myth.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FFcTgv+%28Teaching+High+School+Psychology%29

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2013
Learning Styles: Myth? I'm interested in hearing how teachers and administrators in your district talk and think about "learning styles." I remember learning learning style "theory" during staff development workshops as a young teacher, and the main impact was that I felt guilty for not diligently including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic experiences in my lessons.

So I was glad to read Daniel Willingham's work on "debunking" what he calls the "learning styles myth." It turns out there really isn't much empirical evidence that learning styles exist or impact learning (they might be learning "preferences"). Willingham has been dedicated to adding some science to the discussion of "learning styles" for quite a while and created many resources that are usable by many audience. The FAQ document linked to below is a good overall summary of his thinking:

Learning Style FAQ http://www.danielwillingham.com/learning-styles-faq.html

More recently, Howard Gardner chimed in to try to clarify how his multiple intelligences theory is different form "learning styles," and how people misinterpret his theory too. Howard Gardner: 'Multiple Intelligences' are not 'learning styles' http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/10/16/howard-gardner-multiple-intelligences-are-not-learning-styles/

Thoughts from Cade Resnick - The original idea of learning styles gave a reason to explain behavior. The more Neuroscience arrives into the world of Psychology and understands human interaction, the more we understand of learning styles. I believe it is in the best interest of educators world wide to realise that every student is not a learning style the same way no 1 person is just one of 5 senses. We know more now and now we need to utilize this new knowledge to educate as such. Thanks for listening.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Introduction to Social Cognitive Reality

When considering what we are all able to offer the world, I believe that my future lies in developing a world view understanding of my research, analysis and perspective. I am not writing to inform the world of my own arrogance, rather I am writing to develop an understanding of a theory I am choosing to develop and then enhance. The name of my theory is social cognitive reality. The reason for developing my theory relates to my own experience of trying to explain to people how their situation, environment, perspective etc are theirs alone. While working on my dissertation I poured over years of research in the fields of psychology, sociology, philosophy and politics. There is an understanding within each of these fields as to the value of a single person and their value in relation to society and culture. The research is there within each field as a separate entity, yet it does not seem to be combined to explain how society and social influence effect the system of YOU. As a systems theorist I find life to be fascinating in that we all operate in harmony to work together. Even when we all think we are different, psychology steps in to remind us that we are all very similar. We all play a role in the development of others, and they in turn play a role in our development. Questions we should ask on a continual basis – How do the people around me, affect me. How does my environment affect me? Who am I? Why am I? What am I? These may seem like philosophical questions, yet they also have answers within social cognitive reality. As my blog develops, I am going to write weekly for everyone to read about different aspects of social cognitive reality are part of who YOU are. As I get myself back into blogging, I am going to leave all of you with the following two thoughts – 1)How do you know, what you know? 2)Is what you know Universal, or only to you and a small spectrum of people.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Comments Re the RNC Platform

Comments made after reading - http://www.gop.com/2012-republican-platform_Renewing/

This year 2012, The Republican party has moved forward as the party of No. The party has said no to almost every one of Obama’s concepts, plans and ideas. In some areas I do agree with the Republican Party. In many others I think that the party has lost sight of what Politics truly is – Negotiation of finding a way agree. The Republican party of 2012 is spinning itself out of control and with respect to all of the people trying extremely hard to move more right than ever before – STOP and think of what you are doing. With a successful campaign you are going to be called liars simply because many of the plans you have in place will never come to be.

Another issue I am having is the rhetoric of a social policy. Lets talk about Marriage. The Republican party states through research that children who come from a married home are far better off than those who come from a single family home. As a trained Counselor (no longer practicing) I cannot agree more. Good point and 100% the truth. The institution of marriage must be validated and further we must find ways to help keep families together. What is left out is that children who grow up in same sex families fair just as well as children from opposite sex households. The argument to ban gay marriage has removed 8% of the population for what reason? The Republican party wants to be involved with the Church which is a fair place to be, yet if we review history well enough, the church does not play well with others and has only 1 goal, to be in control. Should we assume then that the Church is actually controlling the Republican party? If that is the case then respectfully, the Founding Fathers would be appalled, since they were philosophers who knew enough to keep the two apart.  The reason for calling on a ban of Gay people is not politically a good move and nor does it bring a nation together.

Healthcare, Social Security and Medicare all need to be reformed. Obama offered his best shot and respectfully to the GOP, he tried to appease you in his plan. This shows his weakness as a leader and also shows us that what this country needs is less important than is creating a political rift. I am a proponent of a Flat tax with no power for the Federal government to raise said tax 20%. I believe 5% of this tax goes to create a national health care system that all Americans (not illegals) use. This system would also mean that many tax credits/deductions will be removed and yes it also means that the impoverished pay their 20%. I also believe if we are to maintain social security, then 3% of our taxes go toward that and that upon our retirement there is a true tiered system that people receive until they pass away. This is not a popular option yet is a system that the people deserve rather than the political answer. Politicians are the voice of the people, and the people are asking for this type of system..respectfully it is necessary for the Republicans to take up this fight and think of the people, not of the corporations. Additionally this system will be better for the business environment as they will not have to participate in any health care plan. 

Then I read further into the Republican plan to develop a better educational platform. Respectfully to both parties, your ideas are all horrid. The Democrats want a competition, yet education is not about competition. The Party states that money is not the answer. We agree, yet we cannot succeed in education without money. The Federal and the State systems all require money for the unfunded mandates, which include testing, retesting and more testing of our students. The mandates are there for special needs, which children of all different situations fit this category. The money is required for children living in poverty, mandates for enhancing diversity etc etc. So respectfully to the Republican Party, yes money is necessary. Above all of this is the argument that the Unions need to be busted.
Within the Educational environment, the Unions have a balancing act, and they also help to offer some professionalism. The education of our American future needs the funding, and it needs the collaboration of the profession, not the divisiveness of competition or the rhetoric of ignorant politicians.

With my last sentence I would like to share some final thoughts with the Republican Party. Every person who runs for office and gets elected is ignorant. There is no person on the planet who can share that they know everything. Each person has a finite amount of information they can retain and they rely on the direction of others to help them make decisions. Within the field of the American Social system, the GOP needs to adapt and to utilize a different environment than the one they are moving to. The use of the Constitution and Founding Fathers is being used incorrectly. The use and reliance of corporate funding to guide is being irresponsibly utilized; and the weakness of attracting the young is going to destroy the principled ideology of the Republican party. The GOP needs to remove the ‘old’ label and allow itself to be the Grand Open-minded Party. This will allow for the system to develop and enhance the nation of America and bring the goals of the Founding Fathers. To be the greatest open-minded nation who is ok with change and allows for the people to develop themselves philosophically by their own abilities and desires.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Response to a misguided ex-teacher

Today I was given the opportunity to read the work of an ex teacher. (http://ateachertransformed.com/)  This is a young lady who was very good with her students and who spent a lot of time trying to reform those people and mold them into good citizens. In this particular school there was no parent involvement, never any parent complaints and most certainly little or no administrative support. This lady worked as the Honors Language arts teacher and was able to ignore the many violations of human indecency that went on around her so she could aide her students. A very admirable role that was taken, yet in all her effort, was she ever able to help lift those students out of their cultural situation and save them to become scholars. Real research says No!

Attacking this lady is not the purpose of this post, it is instead to enlighten her and the many other misguided people who feel that American education is failing because of Unions, bad teachers and the Democratic party. Respectfully, none of these factors are the direct result of a failure yet are all parts of the system which is no longer allowed to work as a system.

At the RNC in 2012 Education is under attack. The teachers are still at fault for the ruination of education and the reason they are still in the classroom is because ultimately Unions are to blame. To all of the people who are saying this, lets share a coffee and allow me to share with you more than I will here.

Over the past 10 years I have been involved as a Faculty Representative to help aide the teachers in situations that involve administration. Sometimes the situation was blatantly an administrator pushing for power and or satisfying to want of a parent when no such need was necessary. Other times it was the teacher who was at fault and I was there to maintain balance of the situation. In other situations we did have to bring in the association for guidance and support. As a reader you may be saying – this is what Unions do. I answer – yes they protect the workers. I urge anyone who wants to remove a Union or association to first learn why these institutions are important and further why they are so necessary in America. Add to that even more important in a right-to-work State.

One story that comes to mind is from the above mentioned teachers school. My wife was told she is no longer wanted at her place of employment because she was pregnant. The principal chose to fire my wife from her position as a teacher and let her know it was because she was pregnant and that the children did not need to see this in his school. This is one example of the abuse that occurs in our nation and in our schools. With a call to the association office and a following of contract law my wife had her job back. This is an example of abuse which can and does occur in the private sector – which is respectfully not allowed in the government environment.

Another comment I would like to make is this notion of educational reformers doing an amazing job. Some of the worst educational reformers are being hailed as martyrs today. Michelle Rhee who cheated and lied to get where she is is no reformer, she is simply a dictator who no respect in the field of education, yet in the field of politics she is beloved. The same can be said for Jeb Bush and Arne Duncan. All of these people are working to create a private sector system where it does not belong.

John Thrasher, a Florida Legislator, recently shared that he never envisioned charter school abuse in the way it is occurring. His idea for charter schools was for the poor people to get an education. This is another example of how a politician spins a story.

In the field of academia the exacted result is not known until years after a child leaves the classroom, yet the tea party fanatics, who have no idea of American history, want teachers to compete for financial compensation. Education is a teamwork environment more akin to research and development of a product that may or may not ever work better than another, it is not a widget factory to create automatons.

Finally – and in respect to the person this blog post was written for:  There are many ways to develop education and there is one sure way to destroy it. Pitting teachers, administrators, school systems

The system of education needs to overhauled. Not to test and test and test. Rather it needs to be given the chance to be a professional environment in which teachers are given professional wages and offered the chance to teach what they are experts at. Parents should never be given the power over the school, even if the tea party wants it to build more charter schools. the PTA is there to support the system and they understand the value of a teacher. The NEA and AFT understand support of the teacher. Consider the support of a family, would you prefer for me to tell you I appreciate you and never hug, assure, respect or care for you. In psychology we call this a schizophrenic mind. In education we call this tea part politics.

I am a Republican teacher who has asked to work with government to help develop a professional environment. Until people learn that the problem is rarely in the classroom, rather it is in misguided legislative hands and in the hands of the profiteer, then this country will maintain the educational process it always wanted – Wealthy Superiority over the majority.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Judge strikes down state merit pay rules as 'invalid'

Today there was a victory for education in the State of Florida. I realize that many of the Florida Republicans feel that public school system has been given a free pass for a period of time prior to their arrival in Tallahassee. Respectfully, you went too far in trying to create a Corporate Model for education that is not designed to work. The passion that is shown to try and help alleviate the problems of education is extremely appreciated, yet you should be working with professional educators to facilitate the change and to stop working with Private Groups who have a goal of profiteering. This ruling states what teachers already know..merit is not for the world of education. I respectfully ask each of the Legislators to put their heads together now, develop an educational caucus of State Teachers and use the information from these people to learn how to create a better educational system. Use this opportunity to remove the words Merit Pay from your vocabulary and develop a fair market pay scale for teachers utilizing accurate data. Make the teachers State Employees and treat them as professional. Use the successful European models and lets teach the other States in America how to do it right.

That’s my 2c, thanks for listening

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-teacher-merit-pay-ruling-20120822,0,1384356.story

http://www.wctv.tv/news/headlines/Judge-Finds-Florida-Department-of-Education-Failed-to-Follow---167110645.html

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Value of Being Educated

The following is an Opinion Article Written by Cade Resnick

When a person is talking to another person and shares with them that they are educated, the person receiving the compliment often says thank you and leaves it at that.  Over my tenure of being involved in education, I have come to learn that the term, educated is used far too often without a true measure of its value. In the field of studying conflict, and human culture he meaning of educated extends to the ability to question and research all systemic possibilities.  The most important aspect of being educated in the field of culture is to begin your research trying to remove all aspects of your bias. It is after all, bias that is the downfall of the validity within research.

Read the Rest here

http://tinyurl.com/93he2xs

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Comments to Dean Cannon

In Response to http://tinyurl.com/79y4mmw Article in Orlando Sentinel
Dean Cannon: Measuring students' progress critical to education's success

“Florida received some good news recently. Education Week reports that Florida's African-American and Hispanic students are more likely to graduate from high school than their peers in other states.

The 2012 "Diplomas Count" report compared Florida to the rest of the nation and found that our Hispanic graduates beat the national graduation-rate average by 10 percentage points. African-American students exceed the average by 3.5 points. In fact, Florida places third in the nation for the largest increases in graduation rates of all students over the past 10 years, jumping from 52.5 percent in 1999 to 70.4 percent a decade later, in 2009”.

Attention Mr. Dean Cannon.

We did all of the above by lowering the standards to say we are worthy. I will gladly ask you to sit with me and go through how education has changed in the past 12 years to make sure that access is more open (not a bad thing) and that teachers are to teach to the lowest denominator not the highest.

There are many ways to alter data for our best conclusion, and respectfully this is what we have done. Florida is an amazing State, yet we need a national test to compare where we are. We also need a national measure to see drop-out rate vs actual graduation rate and we need national comparitive data to see college readiness. Keeping everything in home is, in my opinion called inbreeding.

I offer you an invitation to sit and listen before you write your next article