Teachers must ditch ‘neuromyth’ of learning styles, say scientists

The Guardian reports eminent academics from worlds of neuroscience, education and psychology voice concerns over popularity of method.

International Brain Awareness Week starts today, scientists want to raise awareness of how unscientifically proven theories can damage the learning abilities of pupils.

As part of the campaign, an organisation called Speakezee is sending neuroscientists into schools to raise awareness among teachers and pupils of the latest research based on established scientific findings, and to flag up the shortcomings of the learning style approach.

“Teachers need to be armed with up-to-date evidence of what has been shown to be effective so that schools are not wasting time or money on unsubstantiated practices that do not help students,”

Scientists, Steven Pinker, Johnstone family professor of psychology at Harvard University; Dorothy Bishop, professor of developmental neuropsychology at the University of Oxford; and leading neuroscientist Prof Uta Frith of University College London among others have drafted a letter aimed at convincing teachers that are still using the, Personal learning style of teaching that this has been proven to be a mistaken concept that can actually harm students by convincing them that they are only capable of learning in one way.

This method of teaching which became very popular in 2012 , the scientists are highlighting the problems with this method to discourage schools from wasting time and money on a teaching style that has no basis in scientific fact. This method can lead students to believe that they are incapable of learning if the method of teaching is not in their prefered style, scientists say there is no scientific evedence for this theory.

Geoff Barton, headteacher of King Edward VI school in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, who is soon to take over as general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said he hoped the age of neuromyths was over.​

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