Professor pans ‘learning style’ teaching method

Julie Henry:

A leading scientist has dismissed the latest approach to teaching that has been endorsed by the Government and embraced by teachers.
Under the new system children are considered to have different “learning styles” and instead of being taught by the conventional method of listening to a teacher, they should be allowed to wander around, listen to music and even play with balls in the classroom.
But now Baroness Greenfield, the director of the Royal Institute and a professor of pharmacology at Oxford University, has dismissed as “nonsense” the view that pupils prefer to receive information either by sight, sound or touch.
She said that the method of classifying pupils on the basis of “learning styles” is a waste of valuable time and resources.
The approach, first introduced in the United States following research on brain development, is being adopted by an increasing number of schools, colleges and local authorities and forms a key part of the Government’s drive for “personalised learning”. In effect, it dismisses so-called “chalk and talk” teaching as inadequate.