News and Tasks
Mid-Monthly Update from the Chair | 2017 March
The "Neuromyth" of Learning Styles
There seems to have been a time when some teacher educators told future teachers that they ought to determine each student's "preferred learning style" (common labels: kinesthetic, auditory, tactile, visual) and then design learning experiences tailored to each student's assigned style.
We know that a better approach is to create multi-modal learning experiences for all students--so that each student has opportunities to learn by hearing, by seeing, by moving, etc.
The topic is back in the news. A group of prominent scholars in neuroscience, education, and psychology have published a letter condemning many PreK-12 teachers' continuing belief in the notion that each student has a personal learning style and should be taught in a way that matches it. That belief is not backed up by scientific research on how the brain works and how people learn.
Are we--in psychology and education at DSU--doing enough to dispel this neuromyth and set our psych majors and our future teachers straight before they graduate?
Check this out:
"Teachers Must Ditch 'Neuromyth' of Learning Styles, Say Scientists" (The Guardian, March 12)
Rescission of Federal Requirement for Rating States' Teacher Preparation Programs
Click the "Recommended Reading" tab above and select "Teacher Education."
There you will find two articles under the AACTE logo. They relate to recent Congressional action to rescind recent regulations for teacher preparation programs, which were put into place by the U.S. Department of Education at the end of President Obama's term.
Essentially what was rescinded was the requirement that states create rating systems to publicize how their teacher preparation programs are doing at producing teachers whose PreK-12 students score well on standardized exams.
One of the articles is about that Congressional action, and the other is about how the field of teacher preparation will continue to hold itself accountable for producing effective teachers.
In the News
Look for our students and faculty in these features:
"In Name of Fighting Cancer, DSU's Seth Moerkerke Went Bald Thursday" (February 23)
"DSU's Jensen to Graduate with No Student Loan Debt" (February 23)
"Dr. Russ Co-Authors Manuscript to Be Published in APA Journal" (February 27)
"TRHLP Scholar Moerkerke 'Braves the Shave' to Help a Child Fight Cancer" (March 3)
"Rasmussen Co-Presents on Indigenous Bilingual Education" (March 8)
NDACTE Spring Conference
The ND Association of Colleges for Teacher Education will hold its annual conference on Friday, April 7 at Minot State University. If you know of any teacher candidates who are interested in presenting at or attending the conference, then please let me know by Wednesday, March 22.
At the conference, two teacher candidates from DSU will receive an Outstanding Student in Teacher Education award from NDACTE. Congratulations to Allison Steffan from the Dickinson campus and Abby Larshus from the Bismarck campus!
Student Engagement in Our Classes
Two recent articles from Faculty Focus are about how to engage students in our university classes:
"An Activity that Promotes Engagement with Required Readings, Even in Large Classes" (February 20)
"Participation Points: Making Student Engagement Visible" (March 13)
What do you think of those ^ ideas?
Recent AACTE Conference
Renae Ekstrand and I recently attended the annual conference of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
There were numerous sessions and networking opportunities for learning about best practices in teacher preparation, promising practices in other institutions' programs, and recommendations for meeting the new accreditation expectations that all our programs face under the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
If you click here, then you can access my notes on the sessions that I attended. When you click that link, this is likely to be your view in the browser:
If you click on the "hamburger button" (circled above), then the left sidebar menu will open:
Then you will be able to click on a particular day and then choose a particular session to read my notes and access any Web sites or documents associated with that session.