Sunday, July 28, 2019

Learning Styles and False Memories

I loved the section on false memories. The idea that changing an adjective or verb can begin to alter perceptions and memories, kind of like a faulty game of whisper down the lane. The learning styles argument slides seem to be more of an arguing theory than a total science. To start, saying that written words is not a way of visually learning is incorrect. Saying that spoken words are not auditory learning is also incorrect. If someone believes that they are capable of teaching someone solely based on visual or audio styles of learning, then perhaps you should spend a day trying to teach Helen Keller. She’s probably do a bit better with visceral learning.

While on the subject of visceral learning, how hard did you have to push on your brakes this morning in your car? In order to tell us you need to utilize some sort of other sensation to compare it to. Further, to get us to replicate this same action in the same way you did (after all, isn’t learning not just absorbing the information, but being able to accurately replicate it?) you’d have to give us some sort of context clue. You could say you stepped on your brake with the same force it takes to stand on your tip-toes. What if one student in your class hasn’t stood on their tip-toes? You might say, “well if you’ve picked up a 75lb weight before, then imagine that amount of force being used under your foot.” So, now you’ve described a visceral value, to a visual numbered value, and back into a visceral value. What if you tell the students you had to hit your horn with the same amount of force you had to hit your brake pedal? All of the students will make the connection straight from visceral to visceral, except that one student who has to think about those 75lbs again. As these context clues shift further and further away from their original connection, a true meaning can get lost. Some students may be 6 degrees from pumping the break, while others are 1 degree. For those students that are 6 degrees away, maybe there is a different visual, auditory, or visceral context clue that is only 2 degrees away. Imagine the student is 126 degrees away from pumping the breaks? Wouldn’t it be easier to switch teaching styles, and have the student actually hit the breaks?

Imagine the teacher isn’t teaching a room of potential drivers, but instead surgeons. You can have a group of surgeons witness a procedure. They can even be told exactly how to do the procedure. So, they’ve learned how to actually perform it. They can tell you everything there is to know about this procedure, just as much as a veteran surgeon can. The students know its 10lbs/square inch. They know how much 10lbs/square inches feels like because they’ve pushed down on a scale. The students have all the value, and meanings behind their actions. However, the veteran surgeon knows these values and has performed them. One would say the veteran has more experience. The veteran surgeon is 1 degree from providing value and meaning to what he has learned, while the students are simply substituting what they’ve seen and referring to context of values they have heard. The students must now learn viscerally what they’ve been, ultimately, only conceptualizing.

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