The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersiSteve Blog
Against Science Denialism
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Here’s a letter to The Guardian from various cognitive science heavyweights such as Steven Pinker and Hal Pashler about the thicket of Ed Biz myths nurtured by Howard Gardner’s old Multiple Intelligences theory:

No evidence to back idea of learning styles

‘The claim that students will perform better when the teaching is matched to their preferred learning style is simply not supported by science,’ writes Bruce Hood. Photograph: Alamy

Letter
Sunday 12 March 2017 19.59 EDT

There is widespread interest among teachers in the use of neuroscientific research findings in educational practice. However, there are also misconceptions and myths that are supposedly based on sound neuroscience that are prevalent in our schools. We wish to draw attention to this problem by focusing on an educational practice supposedly based on neuroscience that lacks sufficient evidence and so we believe should not be promoted or supported.

Generally known as “learning styles”, it is the belief that individuals can benefit from receiving information in their preferred format, based on a self-report questionnaire. This belief has much intuitive appeal because individuals are better at some things than others and ultimately there may be a brain basis for these differences. Learning styles promises to optimise education by tailoring materials to match the individual’s preferred mode of sensory information processing.

There are, however, a number of problems with the learning styles approach. …

Finally, and most damning, is that there have been systematic studies of the effectiveness of learning styles that have consistently found either no evidence or very weak evidence to support the hypothesis that matching or “meshing” material in the appropriate format to an individual’s learning style is selectively more effective for educational attainment. …

These neuromyths may be ineffectual, but they are not low cost. We would submit that any activity that draws upon resources of time and money that could be better directed to evidence-based practices is costly and should be exposed and rejected. Such neuromyths create a false impression of individuals’ abilities, leading to expectations and excuses that are detrimental to learning in general, which is a cost in the long term.

I’m not actually all that much against the “learning styles” myths, except for the opportunity costs and how Gardner’s popular mythology gets in the way of coming to grips with the hard realities of IQ science.

I would recommend that individuals self-experiment on themselves to figure out what learning styles work best for them.

There’s a funny story about the five Rockefeller brothers. The oldest John III. was given a superb traditional education and earned a Ph.D. in economics, but maintained a relatively low profile in life. The four younger brothers — Nelson, Laurance, Winthrop, and David — were educated according to the progressive principles of John Dewey and all grew up dyslexic.

But they had more fun in life because they seldom read anything and instead insisted on face to face communications. If you had something to tell VP Rockefeller, you didn’t send him a memo, you had to go and get barraged with his questions.

So having an oral learning style can work out swell … if you are a Rockefeller.

One Rockefeller adviser who naturally would have liked sending him long memos got so good at explaining things in person to Rocky that he got hired by Rocky’s victorious rival Dick Nixon to talk to him about foreign policy, and wound up having a real kick-ass life: Henry Kissinger.

 
Hide 70 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
    []
  1. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    So, what should be the teaching style for those whose learning style is “I don’t feel like learning anything.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pericles
    Hard labor is a lesson too.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    /isteve/against-science-denialism/#comment-1797417
    More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. Nice White Lady teachers love “learning styles” because they think it helps defuse the sense, inherent in any classroom, that some of the kids present are dumber than the other kids. Kids don’t really buy it except as a coping mechanism. “I’m not dumb, I’m just a kinesthetic learner.” “I’d do better but the teacher doesn’t teach in the right way.”

    It also lets younger teachers think of themselves as instructional mavericks. Every teacher I had during the entirety of my primary education seemed to think all the other teachers were subjecting us to some kind of weird, 19th century lecture-only lesson plan when I would have welcomed a break from all the insipid group projects and integrated learning garbage that dominated the curriculum.

    Read More
    • Replies: @william munny
    I agree and think a lot of young teachers really buy this stuff, until experience teaches them the previously unthinkable. I feel bad because many of them are doubling or tripling their workload and beating up on themselves for not being able to find a particular student's learning style. There are a ton of seminars and programs teaching multiple intelligences. Other than Gardner's work, there is no proof of anything. The best he has said is he hopes one day in the future his ideas are proven.
    , @Desiderius

    Every teacher I had during the entirety of my primary education seemed to think all the other teachers were subjecting us to some kind of weird, 19th century lecture-only lesson plan when I would have welcomed a break from all the insipid group projects and integrated learning garbage that dominated the curriculum.
     
    Astute observation.

    You'll find a similar dynamic in any prog-dominated profession.
    , @E e
    I was in elementary school 30 years ago and it was already chock full of projects... I really enjoyed the rare class where the teacher just taught us something and gave us practice work. (Even better, in 1st grade, we got grouped into levels for reading, so I didn't even have to worry about slower students. There weren't faster reading students, compared to me, but to be honest, if they could have had running groups in gym class, I would've loved only being with the other slowpokes...)
    , @Gringo
    Nice White Lady teachers love “learning styles” because they think it helps defuse the sense, inherent in any classroom, that some of the kids present are dumber than the other kids. Kids don’t really buy it except as a coping mechanism. “I’m not dumb, I’m just a kinesthetic learner.” “I’d do better but the teacher doesn’t teach in the right way.”

    While some teachers may believe that their students are not aware of how they are classified, students are all too aware. Students are aware of what is the "dumb class" and what is the "smart class." When I was substituting at a middle school that had a problematic reputation for years, a student asked me if I taught there because I liked working with problem kids.

    "Learning styles" is just one of a succession of fads to sweep the Ed Biz. The fads sweep the Ed Biz before their efficacy has yet to be documented. A decade or so after the fad has been adopted wholesale into classrooms across the country, the research comes out that the fad isn't effective. Rinse and repeat. The king is dead, long live the king.
    Which is why experienced teachers often roll their eyes at the then-newest fad to sweep the Ed Biz. They have seen the hype before. They have also seen the lack of documented results before.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  3. People keep looking for a substitute for hard work.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FX Enderby
    Massive amounts of money worked wonders for the Rockefeller and Kennedy brothers. Hard work is for the suckers and little people.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. I’ve actually done this. I, like most people, have tried several times to learn foreign languages (in high school, in college, on my own, etc).

    I was bored at (government) work, and thought: I am a voracious reader. If I want to learn a foreign language, what method would work best for me? Reading.

    So, instead of attempting to learn (my chosen langauge was French) by listening to tapes, or memorizing and then practicing the simple words that we all learn and practice in introductory books, and learning all aspects of a language (spelling, translation, conjugation, pronounciation, and listening for each word), I 1) made an effort to memorize a certain number of words per day (I can’t remember: perhaps 50?) and 2) read French newspapers on the internet.

    As I mentioned, I was at work in a government office at the time, and thus had time to do these two things. And it worked to the degree one would expect. I could (and still, to a certain extent, can) read a French newspaper. I attempted to read French novels, and could get the basic plot (though not the humor, psychology, idioms and accents, and so on).

    Reading in that situation is like reading a highly technical scientific or legal journal: you start out getting the gist of what’s going on, but are utterly lacking in the details, and you find yourself eliding over most of the words, mentally grasping any recognized word or word fragment, and attempting to understand based on those isolated clues. As your vocabulary improves, those sentences become clearer and clearer.

    Obviously, I can’t speak a lick of French. For a while I subscribed to TV5, the French cable channel in the US. I found I could barely follow simple news stories (the weather, for instance), but was utterly lost in any drama or sitcom-too much idiomatic pronounciation. But being able to read newspapers in a foreign language, solely through self-motivated effort, in the learning style that matches my own inherent ability, is something.

    joeyjoejoe

    Read More
    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    I'm glad you brought this up because I have studied many languages, and I wanted to say something about that and learning styles; it's a hobby and I originally started studying languages in order to read them.

    In my experience a mix of styles works best. For example, when I read as a youngster, I repeated changed location and position every 45 minutes or so. And here's the point relevant to language learning: at some point, you have to slow down and look up every word.

    The other thing about language study is that you have to follow your curiosity. If you spend a few hours just studying conjugations you aren't wasting your time, even if you only learn 3 words in a day. It will payoff elsewhere.

    The next thing to keep in mind with language study is that there are different skills involved. #1 - Reading comprehension. #2 - Spoken, at several different levels. #3 - Oral comprehension: In my experience, by far the hardest skill. Fortunately, in this day and age you can find limitless DVDs (especially if you have a computer wired to Region 2) with spoken language in anything you might like (also youtube.) This is also an excellent way to cement word memorization and colloquial speech patterns.

    So the point I would make with foreign languages is to A. invest the time, at least an hour or two every day, B. vary your tasks; reading, studying grammar, memorization, writing, speaking, etc. It's just making that language a part of your life, that's all.

    If you have gotten this far in French, you could probably get through the reading comp with relatively little more effort. After that, you could probably master several other Romance languages without knocking yourself out.

    As a sidenote, I like this word "neuromyth."
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. Is “learning Style” a euphonism for race?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill
    Huh, I didn't know the word "euphonism." At first I thought it wasn't a word, but apparently it is.

    What's the difference between "euphonism" and "euphemism?" Are these just alternative spellings of the same word, or is there some difference in meaning? Does "euphonism" emphasize the way the word actually sounds, rather than just that it is an oblique way of saying something unpleasant? Or is "euphonism" the practice of using euphemisms?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. kihowi says:

    Intelligence is being able to deal with confusing, imperfect input.

    If you can only learn if the information is presented to you in exactly that one way that will make it stick, that’s called dumb.

    Talking about learning styles is like arguing that anybody can get a science degree (only for some people it would take 30 years) and therefore intelligence doesn’t exist.

    Read More
    • Agree: Autochthon
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  7. pyrrhus says:

    I don’t think anything except better nutrition, to a very minor extent, can affect your IQ, which is fundamentally brain speed. But I do think that people at various positions on the autism scale may benefit from different forms of knowledge transmission. It would be hard to test, however…

    Read More
    • Replies: @E e
    Except, "learning styles" are generally used to justify lots of group work and open ended projects, and as little as possible of, say, a clearly defined math problem set. Even for those who aren't "on the spectrum", if you don't care for crafts and find your classmates to be full, being forced to do groupwork and projects can be a real pain. Even if you pick your own project topic and don't have to have partners, if the teacher isn't particularly bright, she won't care how much you actually learned... (Yes, there's something to be said for being able to communicate complicated ideas in a simple way, but if kids are told, on the one hand, how wonderfully smart teachers are, but on the other hand, the 6th grade teacher can't grasp a topic from World Book, one is inclined to be rather cynical about the whole thing...)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. I’m not actually all that much against the “learning styles” myths, except for the opportunity costs and how Gardner’s popular mythology gets in the way of coming to the grips with the hard realities of IQ science.

    And I’m not actually all that much against the sending of lots of money to the poor, who are wasting it on “poorish” fantasies. Except for corrupting the poor, along with those that give to them and extorting that money from the unwilling productive.

    And I’m not actually all that much against the crimes criminals do. Except for the damage done to the victims. And the wasted resources. And the harm done to the criminals through corrupting their souls.

    Yep, it is all good; except for the fact that it is all bad.

    Jeez and WTF.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  9. Alice says:

    You should be against it. Gardner’s crap is perhaps the most pernicious edu-fad of the last two decades. It has led nearly every school across the country and all of the teachers in those schools to spend significant time each day teaching math by singing (which means teaching no math to anyone), using dioramas and cartoons on cereal boxes instead of book reports with grammatically correct sentences (which means no lessons on sentences for anyone), and finger painting instead of learning facts.

    This isn’t just an IQ issue. It means the entire trillion dollar edu establishment teaches nothing to anyone. This is bad for our country, poor, rich, smart, stupid. Arguably it’s far worse for the smart than for the stupid who languish the most with this garbage. But it’s criminally bad. Apparently the situation must be worse in Britain.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  10. Act of Anti-Golf Terrorism (a first?) at the Trump Rancho Palos Verders Golf Club.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/03/12/video-shows-environmental-activists-defacing-popular-trump-golf-course/?utm_term=.3e918aeb8ffa

    The graffiti involves a cryptic reference to Tiger Woods for some reason.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Brutusale
    Not cryptic at all. To build a golf course, you need to knock down forests (no woods), which disrupts the critters' lives (no tigers).

    Just because they're environmental whack-jobs doesn't mean they don't have a sense of humor!

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. SPMoore8 says:
    @joeyjoejoe
    I've actually done this. I, like most people, have tried several times to learn foreign languages (in high school, in college, on my own, etc).

    I was bored at (government) work, and thought: I am a voracious reader. If I want to learn a foreign language, what method would work best for me? Reading.

    So, instead of attempting to learn (my chosen langauge was French) by listening to tapes, or memorizing and then practicing the simple words that we all learn and practice in introductory books, and learning all aspects of a language (spelling, translation, conjugation, pronounciation, and listening for each word), I 1) made an effort to memorize a certain number of words per day (I can't remember: perhaps 50?) and 2) read French newspapers on the internet.

    As I mentioned, I was at work in a government office at the time, and thus had time to do these two things. And it worked to the degree one would expect. I could (and still, to a certain extent, can) read a French newspaper. I attempted to read French novels, and could get the basic plot (though not the humor, psychology, idioms and accents, and so on).

    Reading in that situation is like reading a highly technical scientific or legal journal: you start out getting the gist of what's going on, but are utterly lacking in the details, and you find yourself eliding over most of the words, mentally grasping any recognized word or word fragment, and attempting to understand based on those isolated clues. As your vocabulary improves, those sentences become clearer and clearer.

    Obviously, I can't speak a lick of French. For a while I subscribed to TV5, the French cable channel in the US. I found I could barely follow simple news stories (the weather, for instance), but was utterly lost in any drama or sitcom-too much idiomatic pronounciation. But being able to read newspapers in a foreign language, solely through self-motivated effort, in the learning style that matches my own inherent ability, is something.

    joeyjoejoe

    I’m glad you brought this up because I have studied many languages, and I wanted to say something about that and learning styles; it’s a hobby and I originally started studying languages in order to read them.

    In my experience a mix of styles works best. For example, when I read as a youngster, I repeated changed location and position every 45 minutes or so. And here’s the point relevant to language learning: at some point, you have to slow down and look up every word.

    The other thing about language study is that you have to follow your curiosity. If you spend a few hours just studying conjugations you aren’t wasting your time, even if you only learn 3 words in a day. It will payoff elsewhere.

    The next thing to keep in mind with language study is that there are different skills involved. #1 – Reading comprehension. #2 – Spoken, at several different levels. #3 – Oral comprehension: In my experience, by far the hardest skill. Fortunately, in this day and age you can find limitless DVDs (especially if you have a computer wired to Region 2) with spoken language in anything you might like (also youtube.) This is also an excellent way to cement word memorization and colloquial speech patterns.

    So the point I would make with foreign languages is to A. invest the time, at least an hour or two every day, B. vary your tasks; reading, studying grammar, memorization, writing, speaking, etc. It’s just making that language a part of your life, that’s all.

    If you have gotten this far in French, you could probably get through the reading comp with relatively little more effort. After that, you could probably master several other Romance languages without knocking yourself out.

    As a sidenote, I like this word “neuromyth.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    I've learned several languages by living abroad ... being thrown in the deep end, so to say. My grammar is weak and more often than not, I choose the wrong article, but I get most of what they are saying and they get most of what I am saying. But the reading approach is not bad if you are desk bound in one location. If you watch TV 5 enough or listen to internet radio enough, you might start to pick up what they are saying, but on the European version of TV5 they often subtitle the French in French, I guess because the dialects can throw an occasional curve.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  12. Anon7 says:

    Different learning styles is also one of the reasons that middle school kids carry as much weight in their backpacks as Marines.

    It’s the books. When I took algebra back in the day, the book we used was a standard-sized volume of 225 pages. The book my kids used was an oversized volume of 1,400 pages that weighed ten pounds. Why was it so huge? Different students learn in different ways, they said, and we must meet the needs of every kind.

    Multiply that by four college prep subjects, and scrawny middle schoolers can’t even carry their backpacks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    The glorious absurdity of it all.

    What's coming, we deserve.
    , @E e
    Ironically, given how much some people like to look to Finland for education ideas, the idea of small, concise textbooks doesn't seem to be of interest... (Heck, it seems to be true for all those countries that perform better on international tests, and yet...)
    , @guest
    Textbooks are huge also because publishers have monopolies, or near-monopolies. Administrators/educrats/teachers don't give a crap about intellectual quality or getting the most for their buck. Even in college, you find heavy-duty covers and binding, thick glossy pages, color photographs, reams of bad writing, and useless additions every year so they can put out new editions as part of artificial obsolescence schemes.
    , @Anon7
    Kind of a reply to all commenters-

    I got my revenge! So sweet.

    After years of straining under the weight of these useless garbage collections full of color graphs, my son finally got to 400-level college math classes in which the textbooks contained (wait for it...) NO PICTURES!! Front-to-back black and white text.

    Just equations and proofs, glorious proofs.

    And they were back to being more like 250 pages, because math packs a lot into a small space.
    , @PiltdownMan
    The myth of "learning styles" brought forth this extraordinary public rebuttal, yesterday, by leading British neuroscientists.

    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/mar/12/no-evidence-to-back-idea-of-learning-styles?CMP=twt_a-science_b-gdnscience
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Hey Joeyjoejoey all you had to do to learn French was spend a summer in Montreal meeting the damoiselles. Right there is your motivation. I forget exactly why but Montreal has a much higher percentage of pretty girls than the average city. Some quirk of history.

    Of course the Quebecois accent leaves much to be desired and they are ethnocentric people but c’est la vie.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Formerly CARealist
    What they speak in Montreal doesn't even sound like French. If you speak schoolmarm French to them they'll understand, but the way they speak to each other sounds like Hungarian or something.
    , @Old Palo Altan
    No, better to know no French at all than to learn it in Quebec.
    The English may once have curled their lips at the sound of American English, but they were sweet lambs in comparison to the Olympian and sharply expressed disdain of any Frenchman, even now, at the sound of a Quebécois.
    But your general principal is exactly right: go to where the language is spoken and you'll learn it easily and well.
    Use any other method and you'll flounder.
    Children don't learn to speak by reading books; why should it work for adults?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. Practice. Focus on one thing. Repeat.

    Intersperse with vigorous physical exercise.
    Organize subjects to be mutually reinforcing (note that in modern educational curriculums this is almost systematically not done even when they claim they are doing it – a great curiosity because educators were much better at this 500 years ago).

    Include artistic and craftsmanlike subjects until students are able to select specialties though always note that arts should increase rigor, not open an escape hatch from it.

    Drop subjects long, long before you reach a point of diminishing returns, because remember, “focus on one thing” is essential to success.
    Do not over-educate children as they do in S.Korea.

    Treat progress in three year increments, not one.

    If at all possible, teach an ancient, dead language (Greek, Latin) as well as dance. By this, connect students with their European heritage.

    Recognize that all students will not mature at the same pace and key maturation points are pre-adolescence, adolescent onset, late adolescence and early adulthood.

    When confronted with a student who doesn’t want to work, repeat to them “there is one way: practice, focus on one thing, repeat”
    When confronted with a parent who thinks the student isn’t naturally inclined to something by dint of this or that, repeat to them “there is one way: practice, focus on one thing, repeat”

    Then accept that people have a choice. They may not choose to practice, focus on one thing, repeat. If they don’t choose to do that – they will fail, regardless of what stock they rise from.

    When confronted with the Tiger Mom or Tiger Dad, consider noting casually that it is possible their way will lead to successful children. It is also possible they will succeed without thriving, and turn out remarkably dull.

    Notice that none of this has to do with the “preferred format” identified with a “self-report questionnaire”.

    Stop fighting the government. Maybe it’s true: maybe the government literally intends to dumb down the education on purpose so that everyone is equally stupid because equal is better, as the government reckons it. I heard one Silicon Valley area educational administrator admit as much publicly and on record.

    There was a way that communities dealt with such malfeasance in the past: they established their own schools. They took the hits to their pocketbooks and lifestyles, they retrenched, they valued education, and they established their own private schools. And that’s why today those communities exist as large plurality populations that are generally more successful on average than others.

    You can follow their example – or you can keep trying to change D.C.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rod1963

    There was a way that communities dealt with such malfeasance in the past: they established their own schools. They took the hits to their pocketbooks and lifestyles, they retrenched, they valued education, and they established their own private schools. And that’s why today those communities exist as large plurality populations that are generally more successful on average than others.
     
    That is a great idea, fighting D.C. and the school districts has been a losing proposition. Parents have devoted a lot of time and money fighting them with little to show for it. The public schools have deteriorated in many urban and suburban areas to be unfit for teaching children now. D.C. and the states are incapable of correcting them because the schools are by their very designed to produce ruined kids.

    However most whites lack the sort of community solidarity to work and sacrifice together to make their own private schools a reality which not only benefits their kids but those to come.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. Anonym says:

    I am not sure how much I buy the multiple intelligences stuff. From what I remember, g dominates and for the most part, dumb people are similarly dumb, and intelligent people have capacity to be intelligent in different ways. You may have your savants.

    One kid I knew in school was exceptionally coordinated, had a great brain for sports, knowing what to do at the right time etc. but did really poorly in school. It seems that some sporting ability is kind of orthogonal to academic ability.

    I used to doze off in lectures for the most part, unless the lecturer was good. In the end, provided that the class had exercises to do, answers to test my learning via the exercises, and a book that covered the course material, I was basically set. Autodidacticism via written material was my learning method of choice. That’s not to say that I didn’t benefit from discussions or a good lecturer, I did when I was motivated. In this I was certainly the exception rather than the rule.

    I’ve also been participating in online forums of various kinds since high school days. I think that’s been a very useful tool for both honing my writing skills and also developing my ability to seek truth and argue effectively. I’m sure a lot of folks here can relate.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  16. the hard realities of IQ science

    Here’s one:

    Over the time period we’ve been screening our ruling class for IQ at a young age, and then periodically up to maturity*, several measures of social health have taken a nosedive and we now have a ruling class that pretty blatantly can’t distinguish their ass from a hole in the ground, whatever their IQ.

    Perhaps there is some dynamic your measure is missing.

    * – whatever lies we tell ourselves, and roadblocks that have been added in for the unwary, the beat still goes on.

    Read More
    • Agree: Bill
    • Replies: @guest
    IQ isn't meant to take account of every conceivable "dynamic." You might find yourself arguing it doesn't even measure intelligence, as traditionally understood, if we lived in the world of Harrison Bergeron, where smart people have bells go off in their ears to prevent them from thinking too much.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. The “learning styles” was one of the fads (the other being open plan schools) which completely screwed up the school system in the Liverpool exurb of Knowsley:

    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/jan/29/knowsley-education-catastrophe-a-levels-merseyside

    Needless to say, the Guardian was one of the cheerleaders for these fads:

    https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2015/feb/11/schools-students-traditional-teaching

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  18. I understand that Nelson Rockefeller insisted on face-to-face communication with his 30-year-old secretary and in fact was having that at the time of his death.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    Face-to-face? More like something-else to something-else.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  19. I’m surprised that this myth has lasted as long as it has. I recall that it has been debunked years ago, yet I suppose it lingered while it still had marketable value. A pity.

    Credit should be given in that it seems to have encouraged more attention to be given to hands-on, learning by doing. That’s valuable, I think, and benefits all students the more that it is practiced.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  20. Does Trump have a touch of dyslexia? Either way, it’s a pleasure to see him dismantle King David’s globalist project. David is still alive, right? If he has any brain cells left he must be spinning in his gold-plated hospital bed. As for Henry, the world’s greatest yes man is still living large at 93.

    Read More
    • Replies: @BrokenSymmetry
    David is on his 7th or 8th heart. No kidding.
    , @PV van der Byl
    I think it quite likely that Trump is at least somewhat dyslexic.

    He is obviously intelligent and can function very effectively in complex negotiations.

    But I began to suspect dyslexia when various observers noticed that his residences had very few or no books at all.

    It would also explain his limited vocabulary.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  21. @The Grate Deign
    People keep looking for a substitute for hard work.

    Massive amounts of money worked wonders for the Rockefeller and Kennedy brothers. Hard work is for the suckers and little people.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  22. Glaivester says: • Website

    If people really believed in “learning styles” would that not imply that people should be segregated according to learning style rather than spending time on each learning style for all of the students?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  23. if everyone is equally capable then differences in life outcomes can only be explained by “conspiracies”-conspiracies called racism, sexism, misogyny, different learning styles, etc. that prevent identical performance.

    This is the one sentence explanation of uS politics.

    End this website, IMO.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  24. I never understood how “auditory” learning was supposed to work. By the way, are there more deaf mathematicians and physicists than blind ones?

    One thing I’ve noticed in otherwise intelligent people is that they can fail in describing or understanding relative directions, often getting confused between “left” and “right”. I’ve seen this more in women but had a male friend who had this problem in middle school. He practiced hard to snap out of it and ended up taking university-level math classes in high school before attending a very good engineering college.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  25. Rod1963 says:
    @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    Practice. Focus on one thing. Repeat.

    Intersperse with vigorous physical exercise.
    Organize subjects to be mutually reinforcing (note that in modern educational curriculums this is almost systematically not done even when they claim they are doing it - a great curiosity because educators were much better at this 500 years ago).

    Include artistic and craftsmanlike subjects until students are able to select specialties though always note that arts should increase rigor, not open an escape hatch from it.

    Drop subjects long, long before you reach a point of diminishing returns, because remember, "focus on one thing" is essential to success.
    Do not over-educate children as they do in S.Korea.

    Treat progress in three year increments, not one.

    If at all possible, teach an ancient, dead language (Greek, Latin) as well as dance. By this, connect students with their European heritage.

    Recognize that all students will not mature at the same pace and key maturation points are pre-adolescence, adolescent onset, late adolescence and early adulthood.

    When confronted with a student who doesn't want to work, repeat to them "there is one way: practice, focus on one thing, repeat"
    When confronted with a parent who thinks the student isn't naturally inclined to something by dint of this or that, repeat to them "there is one way: practice, focus on one thing, repeat"

    Then accept that people have a choice. They may not choose to practice, focus on one thing, repeat. If they don't choose to do that - they will fail, regardless of what stock they rise from.

    When confronted with the Tiger Mom or Tiger Dad, consider noting casually that it is possible their way will lead to successful children. It is also possible they will succeed without thriving, and turn out remarkably dull.

    Notice that none of this has to do with the "preferred format" identified with a "self-report questionnaire".

    Stop fighting the government. Maybe it's true: maybe the government literally intends to dumb down the education on purpose so that everyone is equally stupid because equal is better, as the government reckons it. I heard one Silicon Valley area educational administrator admit as much publicly and on record.

    There was a way that communities dealt with such malfeasance in the past: they established their own schools. They took the hits to their pocketbooks and lifestyles, they retrenched, they valued education, and they established their own private schools. And that's why today those communities exist as large plurality populations that are generally more successful on average than others.

    You can follow their example - or you can keep trying to change D.C.

    There was a way that communities dealt with such malfeasance in the past: they established their own schools. They took the hits to their pocketbooks and lifestyles, they retrenched, they valued education, and they established their own private schools. And that’s why today those communities exist as large plurality populations that are generally more successful on average than others.

    That is a great idea, fighting D.C. and the school districts has been a losing proposition. Parents have devoted a lot of time and money fighting them with little to show for it. The public schools have deteriorated in many urban and suburban areas to be unfit for teaching children now. D.C. and the states are incapable of correcting them because the schools are by their very designed to produce ruined kids.

    However most whites lack the sort of community solidarity to work and sacrifice together to make their own private schools a reality which not only benefits their kids but those to come.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dfordoom

    However most whites lack the sort of community solidarity to work and sacrifice together to make their own private schools a reality
     
    It's very difficult to motivate people to that kind of self-sacrifice without religion.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  26. If there were only two or three learning styles, then you could adjust your teaching to that. If there are thirty or forty styles, then no teacher on earth could handle that and it’s a useless idea.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  27. I’ve noticed that a certain percentage of men seem to have a kind of language handicap that makes them unfluent and perhaps not good readers. Since school is very language oriented, every day is an embarrassment and they come to hate it. Many of these men end up in the skilled trades because they are intelligent ( they are not Einsteins), but because they are not fluent, they appear a little dumb. If their families are rich they can often become successful in nonacademic fields.

    Women don’t seem to have this problem.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  28. @SPMoore8
    I'm glad you brought this up because I have studied many languages, and I wanted to say something about that and learning styles; it's a hobby and I originally started studying languages in order to read them.

    In my experience a mix of styles works best. For example, when I read as a youngster, I repeated changed location and position every 45 minutes or so. And here's the point relevant to language learning: at some point, you have to slow down and look up every word.

    The other thing about language study is that you have to follow your curiosity. If you spend a few hours just studying conjugations you aren't wasting your time, even if you only learn 3 words in a day. It will payoff elsewhere.

    The next thing to keep in mind with language study is that there are different skills involved. #1 - Reading comprehension. #2 - Spoken, at several different levels. #3 - Oral comprehension: In my experience, by far the hardest skill. Fortunately, in this day and age you can find limitless DVDs (especially if you have a computer wired to Region 2) with spoken language in anything you might like (also youtube.) This is also an excellent way to cement word memorization and colloquial speech patterns.

    So the point I would make with foreign languages is to A. invest the time, at least an hour or two every day, B. vary your tasks; reading, studying grammar, memorization, writing, speaking, etc. It's just making that language a part of your life, that's all.

    If you have gotten this far in French, you could probably get through the reading comp with relatively little more effort. After that, you could probably master several other Romance languages without knocking yourself out.

    As a sidenote, I like this word "neuromyth."

    I’ve learned several languages by living abroad … being thrown in the deep end, so to say. My grammar is weak and more often than not, I choose the wrong article, but I get most of what they are saying and they get most of what I am saying. But the reading approach is not bad if you are desk bound in one location. If you watch TV 5 enough or listen to internet radio enough, you might start to pick up what they are saying, but on the European version of TV5 they often subtitle the French in French, I guess because the dialects can throw an occasional curve.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  29. @FX Enderby
    Does Trump have a touch of dyslexia? Either way, it's a pleasure to see him dismantle King David's globalist project. David is still alive, right? If he has any brain cells left he must be spinning in his gold-plated hospital bed. As for Henry, the world's greatest yes man is still living large at 93.

    David is on his 7th or 8th heart. No kidding.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    David Rockefeller Breaks Record for Most Heart Transplants at Age 101

    http://anonhq.com/david-rockefeller-breaks-record-heart-transplants-age-101/

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  30. @BrokenSymmetry
    David is on his 7th or 8th heart. No kidding.

    David Rockefeller Breaks Record for Most Heart Transplants at Age 101

    http://anonhq.com/david-rockefeller-breaks-record-heart-transplants-age-101/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    By the way, now that I look at it on Google, the websites reporting many heart transplants for David Rockefeller tend to be the kind that hard to sue.

    Beats me what the truth is.

    , @Steve Sailer
    By the way, now that I look at it on Google, the websites reporting many heart transplants for David Rockefeller tend to be the kind that hard to sue.

    Beats me what the truth is.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  31. @Steve Sailer
    David Rockefeller Breaks Record for Most Heart Transplants at Age 101

    http://anonhq.com/david-rockefeller-breaks-record-heart-transplants-age-101/

    By the way, now that I look at it on Google, the websites reporting many heart transplants for David Rockefeller tend to be the kind that hard to sue.

    Beats me what the truth is.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    When Hans Eysenck and Art Jensen came to Melbourne to deliver the Theodor Fink Memorial Lectures in 1977 on respectively "Education and Personality" and "Intelligence and Education" I remember that part of what Eysenck was trying to have heard over the noise of the Socialists' organised protests was his idea that extraverts and introverts responded to diferent styles of teaching. Do you know where that idea stands now?

    A very good account of their visit to Melbourne University and protestors' behaviour can be found by Googling for Eysenck's long upbeat letter to The New Scientist of 27th October 1977.

    It is wrong in just one particular for certain. It was not the government of Victoria that gave a lunch for them by way of apology but yours truly WofOz who invited senior figures in government and Opposition, who all attended, though the Labor shafow minister for education was a bit edgy about any publicity since he knew very well who the leftist perpetrators of the destructive rotests were.

    As usual academics also disgraced themselves. Typical was a published letter from about 15 objecting to the visit of and platform for Eysenck and Jensen on grounds which made the unacceptable quite ludicrous because they ignored completely what their lectures were about. (Eysenck had just published a small book on race and intelligence which was him, effectually, sticking his neck out in support of Jensen, his former student).

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  32. @Steve Sailer
    David Rockefeller Breaks Record for Most Heart Transplants at Age 101

    http://anonhq.com/david-rockefeller-breaks-record-heart-transplants-age-101/

    By the way, now that I look at it on Google, the websites reporting many heart transplants for David Rockefeller tend to be the kind that hard to sue.

    Beats me what the truth is.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  33. @anonitron1
    Nice White Lady teachers love "learning styles" because they think it helps defuse the sense, inherent in any classroom, that some of the kids present are dumber than the other kids. Kids don't really buy it except as a coping mechanism. "I'm not dumb, I'm just a kinesthetic learner." "I'd do better but the teacher doesn't teach in the right way."

    It also lets younger teachers think of themselves as instructional mavericks. Every teacher I had during the entirety of my primary education seemed to think all the other teachers were subjecting us to some kind of weird, 19th century lecture-only lesson plan when I would have welcomed a break from all the insipid group projects and integrated learning garbage that dominated the curriculum.

    I agree and think a lot of young teachers really buy this stuff, until experience teaches them the previously unthinkable. I feel bad because many of them are doubling or tripling their workload and beating up on themselves for not being able to find a particular student’s learning style. There are a ton of seminars and programs teaching multiple intelligences. Other than Gardner’s work, there is no proof of anything. The best he has said is he hopes one day in the future his ideas are proven.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  34. I would have agreed with most of you (“no such thing as learning styles: IQ=ability. Cut the BS”0, if it weren’t for my experience with language (see an earlier note, above), as well as my experience with music.

    I’ve already described my experience with languages, but I’d imagine the lessons from it are pretty universal: most of us have a certain perception of our own intelligence (I’d guess its pretty high-accurately so-amongst readers of this blog), and I bet most of us here, have also had the experience of taking a language class, and doing reasonably well, but seeing that one guy who just seems to get it.

    In other words, there is some ability outside of IQ (or outside of general academic ability) that allows for language acquisition, that most people (including most people with higher IQs) don’t have. I was able to overcome that to some extent by, as I mentioned earlier, working to my strengths (reading comprehension), and avoiding my weaknesses (oral comprehension, memorization of sounds and pronounciation, etc).

    But this very same mechanism works, and most of us know this, with musical talent. I have also worked on and off, for years, at learning the piano, and am having roughly the same experience that I have had with languages (without figuring out the ‘hook’ for me to get good at it).

    I can sense my experience of playing the piano is similar to one’s experience of typing without having memorized the keyboard, or one’s experience of writing a sentence in a foreign language without it being ‘in there.’ I am forced to think about the process (by typing ‘fork’, one hunts and pecks ‘f-o-r-k’. By writing ‘I regret nothing’, I am forced to hunt and peck ‘I-je. regret- ne regrette. Nothing- rein. Je ne regrette rien! phew!’ Beethoven’s fifth? Du-Du-Du-doooon. Hunt and peck the sounds and intervals). The process is not internalized.

    And I suspect most of us (unless you have that musical talent) have a very similar experience. Music is an oddity in that it is clearly orthogonal to IQ- lower IQ (even autistic folks) can have the ability. And we basically all know it, but pooh-pooh the implications (‘There’s no such thing as learning styles. Music? Well music is different’).

    I’m suggesting that, while the concept of learning styles may be overwrought, the concept of differing ‘talents’ or abilities, and the consequences of acknowledging those differences, certainly implies something like a ‘learning style’ answer.

    I’m assuming most of you are like this (and, like me in this regard): you are pretty good at reading/reading comprehension (or math, of you are an engineer/scientist/accountant). You easily ‘got’ reading/math in school, and assumed those that didn’t were some combination of lower IQ/lower work ethic. You also have very little musical talent-perhaps you played clarinet in the band, but that’s about it.

    But now: what if your ease in reading/learning math, but struggle with learning music theory, were reversed? I’m guessing musicians memorize, and grasp, and learn, music with similar ease that we memorize, and grasp, and learn literature/calculus.

    And as mentioned, these specialized talents apply to other fields as well. Language is one. Conversation and mental quickness is another-we all know extroverts, or ‘the life of the party,’ or debaters, or stand-up comedians. They have a verbal conversational talent that is also orthogonal to IQ. The guys that are good at chatting up a girl in a bar aren’t necessarily getting high SAT scores. Heck: even the two IQ measurable talents (math and reading comprehension) often aren’t identical and coexistent in the same individual.

    So I really don’t think the answer to this issue is IQ = ability. Math nerds who haven’t read anything have high IQ. Voracious readers who can’t balance their checkbook have high IQ. Musicians, or actors, or polyglots may or may not have high IQ. So its not so implausible that people with different abilities have different means of learning and memorizing new data. Our current ‘learning ability’ regime may not be the answer, but that doesn’t invalidate the question.

    joeyjoejoe

    Read More
    • Replies: @blank-misgivings
    Yeah I agree. IQ 'extremism' does poorly explaining people with domain specific talents such as music. But I think that extends to specificity even among the 'intellectual' elite. There will be some reading this, no doubt, for whom a Von Neumann is the model and apex of human achievement, with everyone else a kind of sad shadow of his particular type of cognitive ability. But could a Von Neumann have written the 'Origin of Species', composed 'Ozymandias', said something new and original about a Shakespeare sonnet? I rather doubt it.

    I've known a couple of super high IQ mathematicians with Phds from global top 10 universities, but I wouldn't assign them any complex intellectual task outside of mathematics/logic: one could feel the limitation of that type of brain in dealing with uncertainty, ambiguity, and 'fuzzy' aspects of intellectual endeavor - exactly the ability in drawing out themes from complexity that enabled Darwin to see a thread connnecting his vast empirical data. There is a kind of intellectual imagination, especially associated with concept formation, which I believe is incompatible with very high levels of logico-mathematical ability (perhaps only a Leibniz or an Einstein, defy that generalization).

    None of this is to defend the silly 'multiple intelligences' literature - but at a higher level of subtlety I believe there are significant strands of ability which may be orthogonal, or even incompatible with each other.
    , @Desiderius
    IQ does bleed across several aptitudes, just not all of them.

    It could also serve as a sort of mental budget that one allocates among different aptitudes, so someone with a higher IQ might still be socially inept if they spend all their (larger than average) budget becoming a chess grandmaster.

    http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html

    That's still a subtly different questions than learning, and crucially teaching, styles.
    , @SPMoore8
    I think the aptitude for languages or music are very similar and I think it comes down to a love sound. (I'm thinking of spoken languages now.)

    And that's why I advocate using different approaches to whatever you are studying. Because, #1, the key to learning is endless repetition. But you can't focus on the repetition if it is boring. So you have to find ways to keep it interesting, and that means using different approaches frequently.

    Vocabulary drills are important. In any STEM field, drills are important: tables, formulae, equations, nomenclature. So are practicing scales. The smart pupil will grasp the underlying concept immediately: so they will not want to practice. You have to practice. That's key: that's how the automaticity happens, the spontaneity. Drill, drill, drill.

    When you talk about musicians, someone like Hendrix just didn't sit down with a guitar. No, he had a guitar and he played it all the time. But he wasn't bored because he knew what he was trying to achieve, for himself. Then one day you wake up and you are pretty good. That's the way it is with everything.

    So, to teach successfully, you have to vary the tasks to keep the students interested. And you have to emphasize the importance of drill. And drill is boring, but it's no less boring than running five miles a day to stay healthy or increase your cardio or what have you (or walking, or whatever.) That's where you have to take the subject matter and find a way to make it important to you. Then you'll never get tired of studying whatever.

    Now, not everyone is cut out for book learning or for doing math. But if they have drive they will put it into something that is interesting to them. And then you have a useful expert in some field and he'll do fine. BTW, two of the most brilliant mathematicians I knew had problems with dyslexia and one was almost completely blind. One had a native interest in music, and one did not. But they took their drive and put it into something they were good at and they got very good at it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  35. Coemgen says:

    Google search typeahead suggestions for learning math through are currently:

    art
    music
    stories
    programming

    Programming is probably a fluke that will eventually be replaced with a more fitting guess such as dance.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  36. @joeyjoejoe
    I would have agreed with most of you ("no such thing as learning styles: IQ=ability. Cut the BS"0, if it weren't for my experience with language (see an earlier note, above), as well as my experience with music.

    I've already described my experience with languages, but I'd imagine the lessons from it are pretty universal: most of us have a certain perception of our own intelligence (I'd guess its pretty high-accurately so-amongst readers of this blog), and I bet most of us here, have also had the experience of taking a language class, and doing reasonably well, but seeing that one guy who just seems to get it.

    In other words, there is some ability outside of IQ (or outside of general academic ability) that allows for language acquisition, that most people (including most people with higher IQs) don't have. I was able to overcome that to some extent by, as I mentioned earlier, working to my strengths (reading comprehension), and avoiding my weaknesses (oral comprehension, memorization of sounds and pronounciation, etc).

    But this very same mechanism works, and most of us know this, with musical talent. I have also worked on and off, for years, at learning the piano, and am having roughly the same experience that I have had with languages (without figuring out the 'hook' for me to get good at it).

    I can sense my experience of playing the piano is similar to one's experience of typing without having memorized the keyboard, or one's experience of writing a sentence in a foreign language without it being 'in there.' I am forced to think about the process (by typing 'fork', one hunts and pecks 'f-o-r-k'. By writing 'I regret nothing', I am forced to hunt and peck 'I-je. regret- ne regrette. Nothing- rein. Je ne regrette rien! phew!' Beethoven's fifth? Du-Du-Du-doooon. Hunt and peck the sounds and intervals). The process is not internalized.

    And I suspect most of us (unless you have that musical talent) have a very similar experience. Music is an oddity in that it is clearly orthogonal to IQ- lower IQ (even autistic folks) can have the ability. And we basically all know it, but pooh-pooh the implications ('There's no such thing as learning styles. Music? Well music is different').

    I'm suggesting that, while the concept of learning styles may be overwrought, the concept of differing 'talents' or abilities, and the consequences of acknowledging those differences, certainly implies something like a 'learning style' answer.

    I'm assuming most of you are like this (and, like me in this regard): you are pretty good at reading/reading comprehension (or math, of you are an engineer/scientist/accountant). You easily 'got' reading/math in school, and assumed those that didn't were some combination of lower IQ/lower work ethic. You also have very little musical talent-perhaps you played clarinet in the band, but that's about it.

    But now: what if your ease in reading/learning math, but struggle with learning music theory, were reversed? I'm guessing musicians memorize, and grasp, and learn, music with similar ease that we memorize, and grasp, and learn literature/calculus.

    And as mentioned, these specialized talents apply to other fields as well. Language is one. Conversation and mental quickness is another-we all know extroverts, or 'the life of the party,' or debaters, or stand-up comedians. They have a verbal conversational talent that is also orthogonal to IQ. The guys that are good at chatting up a girl in a bar aren't necessarily getting high SAT scores. Heck: even the two IQ measurable talents (math and reading comprehension) often aren't identical and coexistent in the same individual.

    So I really don't think the answer to this issue is IQ = ability. Math nerds who haven't read anything have high IQ. Voracious readers who can't balance their checkbook have high IQ. Musicians, or actors, or polyglots may or may not have high IQ. So its not so implausible that people with different abilities have different means of learning and memorizing new data. Our current 'learning ability' regime may not be the answer, but that doesn't invalidate the question.

    joeyjoejoe

    Yeah I agree. IQ ‘extremism’ does poorly explaining people with domain specific talents such as music. But I think that extends to specificity even among the ‘intellectual’ elite. There will be some reading this, no doubt, for whom a Von Neumann is the model and apex of human achievement, with everyone else a kind of sad shadow of his particular type of cognitive ability. But could a Von Neumann have written the ‘Origin of Species’, composed ‘Ozymandias’, said something new and original about a Shakespeare sonnet? I rather doubt it.

    I’ve known a couple of super high IQ mathematicians with Phds from global top 10 universities, but I wouldn’t assign them any complex intellectual task outside of mathematics/logic: one could feel the limitation of that type of brain in dealing with uncertainty, ambiguity, and ‘fuzzy’ aspects of intellectual endeavor – exactly the ability in drawing out themes from complexity that enabled Darwin to see a thread connnecting his vast empirical data. There is a kind of intellectual imagination, especially associated with concept formation, which I believe is incompatible with very high levels of logico-mathematical ability (perhaps only a Leibniz or an Einstein, defy that generalization).

    None of this is to defend the silly ‘multiple intelligences’ literature – but at a higher level of subtlety I believe there are significant strands of ability which may be orthogonal, or even incompatible with each other.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  37. Bill says:
    @Bill Jones
    Is "learning Style" a euphonism for race?

    Huh, I didn’t know the word “euphonism.” At first I thought it wasn’t a word, but apparently it is.

    What’s the difference between “euphonism” and “euphemism?” Are these just alternative spellings of the same word, or is there some difference in meaning? Does “euphonism” emphasize the way the word actually sounds, rather than just that it is an oblique way of saying something unpleasant? Or is “euphonism” the practice of using euphemisms?

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    A new word for me as well. Looking at definitions the words seem clearly different. One is about the sound and the other is about the meaning.

    euphemism - a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.

    euphonism - An agreeable combination of sounds; euphony.

    To remember the latter think about the euphon root. For example:

    euphony - the quality of being pleasing to the ear, especially through a harmonious combination of words.

    P.S. I think Bill Jones meant euphemism. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  38. Brutusale says:
    @Clifford Brown
    Act of Anti-Golf Terrorism (a first?) at the Trump Rancho Palos Verders Golf Club.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/03/12/video-shows-environmental-activists-defacing-popular-trump-golf-course/?utm_term=.3e918aeb8ffa

    The graffiti involves a cryptic reference to Tiger Woods for some reason.

    Not cryptic at all. To build a golf course, you need to knock down forests (no woods), which disrupts the critters’ lives (no tigers).

    Just because they’re environmental whack-jobs doesn’t mean they don’t have a sense of humor!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  39. @anonitron1
    Nice White Lady teachers love "learning styles" because they think it helps defuse the sense, inherent in any classroom, that some of the kids present are dumber than the other kids. Kids don't really buy it except as a coping mechanism. "I'm not dumb, I'm just a kinesthetic learner." "I'd do better but the teacher doesn't teach in the right way."

    It also lets younger teachers think of themselves as instructional mavericks. Every teacher I had during the entirety of my primary education seemed to think all the other teachers were subjecting us to some kind of weird, 19th century lecture-only lesson plan when I would have welcomed a break from all the insipid group projects and integrated learning garbage that dominated the curriculum.

    Every teacher I had during the entirety of my primary education seemed to think all the other teachers were subjecting us to some kind of weird, 19th century lecture-only lesson plan when I would have welcomed a break from all the insipid group projects and integrated learning garbage that dominated the curriculum.

    Astute observation.

    You’ll find a similar dynamic in any prog-dominated profession.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  40. @joeyjoejoe
    I would have agreed with most of you ("no such thing as learning styles: IQ=ability. Cut the BS"0, if it weren't for my experience with language (see an earlier note, above), as well as my experience with music.

    I've already described my experience with languages, but I'd imagine the lessons from it are pretty universal: most of us have a certain perception of our own intelligence (I'd guess its pretty high-accurately so-amongst readers of this blog), and I bet most of us here, have also had the experience of taking a language class, and doing reasonably well, but seeing that one guy who just seems to get it.

    In other words, there is some ability outside of IQ (or outside of general academic ability) that allows for language acquisition, that most people (including most people with higher IQs) don't have. I was able to overcome that to some extent by, as I mentioned earlier, working to my strengths (reading comprehension), and avoiding my weaknesses (oral comprehension, memorization of sounds and pronounciation, etc).

    But this very same mechanism works, and most of us know this, with musical talent. I have also worked on and off, for years, at learning the piano, and am having roughly the same experience that I have had with languages (without figuring out the 'hook' for me to get good at it).

    I can sense my experience of playing the piano is similar to one's experience of typing without having memorized the keyboard, or one's experience of writing a sentence in a foreign language without it being 'in there.' I am forced to think about the process (by typing 'fork', one hunts and pecks 'f-o-r-k'. By writing 'I regret nothing', I am forced to hunt and peck 'I-je. regret- ne regrette. Nothing- rein. Je ne regrette rien! phew!' Beethoven's fifth? Du-Du-Du-doooon. Hunt and peck the sounds and intervals). The process is not internalized.

    And I suspect most of us (unless you have that musical talent) have a very similar experience. Music is an oddity in that it is clearly orthogonal to IQ- lower IQ (even autistic folks) can have the ability. And we basically all know it, but pooh-pooh the implications ('There's no such thing as learning styles. Music? Well music is different').

    I'm suggesting that, while the concept of learning styles may be overwrought, the concept of differing 'talents' or abilities, and the consequences of acknowledging those differences, certainly implies something like a 'learning style' answer.

    I'm assuming most of you are like this (and, like me in this regard): you are pretty good at reading/reading comprehension (or math, of you are an engineer/scientist/accountant). You easily 'got' reading/math in school, and assumed those that didn't were some combination of lower IQ/lower work ethic. You also have very little musical talent-perhaps you played clarinet in the band, but that's about it.

    But now: what if your ease in reading/learning math, but struggle with learning music theory, were reversed? I'm guessing musicians memorize, and grasp, and learn, music with similar ease that we memorize, and grasp, and learn literature/calculus.

    And as mentioned, these specialized talents apply to other fields as well. Language is one. Conversation and mental quickness is another-we all know extroverts, or 'the life of the party,' or debaters, or stand-up comedians. They have a verbal conversational talent that is also orthogonal to IQ. The guys that are good at chatting up a girl in a bar aren't necessarily getting high SAT scores. Heck: even the two IQ measurable talents (math and reading comprehension) often aren't identical and coexistent in the same individual.

    So I really don't think the answer to this issue is IQ = ability. Math nerds who haven't read anything have high IQ. Voracious readers who can't balance their checkbook have high IQ. Musicians, or actors, or polyglots may or may not have high IQ. So its not so implausible that people with different abilities have different means of learning and memorizing new data. Our current 'learning ability' regime may not be the answer, but that doesn't invalidate the question.

    joeyjoejoe

    IQ does bleed across several aptitudes, just not all of them.

    It could also serve as a sort of mental budget that one allocates among different aptitudes, so someone with a higher IQ might still be socially inept if they spend all their (larger than average) budget becoming a chess grandmaster.

    http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html

    That’s still a subtly different questions than learning, and crucially teaching, styles.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  41. The Gardner stuff is popular because it lets a teacher feel like they’re overcoming the impersonality that is fatal to effective teaching* without actually doing the uncomfortable work of overcoming it.

    * – despite being a reasonably brilliant mathematician, I was an ineffective teacher until I made myself learn and use my students’ names.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  42. E e says:
    @anonitron1
    Nice White Lady teachers love "learning styles" because they think it helps defuse the sense, inherent in any classroom, that some of the kids present are dumber than the other kids. Kids don't really buy it except as a coping mechanism. "I'm not dumb, I'm just a kinesthetic learner." "I'd do better but the teacher doesn't teach in the right way."

    It also lets younger teachers think of themselves as instructional mavericks. Every teacher I had during the entirety of my primary education seemed to think all the other teachers were subjecting us to some kind of weird, 19th century lecture-only lesson plan when I would have welcomed a break from all the insipid group projects and integrated learning garbage that dominated the curriculum.

    I was in elementary school 30 years ago and it was already chock full of projects… I really enjoyed the rare class where the teacher just taught us something and gave us practice work. (Even better, in 1st grade, we got grouped into levels for reading, so I didn’t even have to worry about slower students. There weren’t faster reading students, compared to me, but to be honest, if they could have had running groups in gym class, I would’ve loved only being with the other slowpokes…)

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  43. @Steve Sailer
    By the way, now that I look at it on Google, the websites reporting many heart transplants for David Rockefeller tend to be the kind that hard to sue.

    Beats me what the truth is.

    When Hans Eysenck and Art Jensen came to Melbourne to deliver the Theodor Fink Memorial Lectures in 1977 on respectively “Education and Personality” and “Intelligence and Education” I remember that part of what Eysenck was trying to have heard over the noise of the Socialists’ organised protests was his idea that extraverts and introverts responded to diferent styles of teaching. Do you know where that idea stands now?

    A very good account of their visit to Melbourne University and protestors’ behaviour can be found by Googling for Eysenck’s long upbeat letter to The New Scientist of 27th October 1977.

    It is wrong in just one particular for certain. It was not the government of Victoria that gave a lunch for them by way of apology but yours truly WofOz who invited senior figures in government and Opposition, who all attended, though the Labor shafow minister for education was a bit edgy about any publicity since he knew very well who the leftist perpetrators of the destructive rotests were.

    As usual academics also disgraced themselves. Typical was a published letter from about 15 objecting to the visit of and platform for Eysenck and Jensen on grounds which made the unacceptable quite ludicrous because they ignored completely what their lectures were about. (Eysenck had just published a small book on race and intelligence which was him, effectually, sticking his neck out in support of Jensen, his former student).

    Read More
    • Replies: @res

    When Hans Eysenck and Art Jensen came to Melbourne to deliver the Theodor Fink Memorial Lectures in 1977 on respectively “Education and Personality” and “Intelligence and Education”
     
    By any chance does video exist of those? I did not see any with a quick search.

    his idea that extraverts and introverts responded to diferent styles of teaching. Do you know where that idea stands now?

     

    This 1982 article (3 pages) looks useful, but is quite old: www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el_198302_schmeck.pdf

    Would be nice to have a more recent update. Perhaps it is worth asking about this in James Thompson's blog?

    A very good account of their visit to Melbourne University and protestors’ behaviour can be found by Googling for Eysenck’s long upbeat letter to The New Scientist of 27th October 1977.

     

    My Google-Fu proved inadequate. Could you give a more direct pointer please? Also, the magazine archives online don't go back that far.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  44. @Anonymous
    Hey Joeyjoejoey all you had to do to learn French was spend a summer in Montreal meeting the damoiselles. Right there is your motivation. I forget exactly why but Montreal has a much higher percentage of pretty girls than the average city. Some quirk of history.

    Of course the Quebecois accent leaves much to be desired and they are ethnocentric people but c'est la vie.

    What they speak in Montreal doesn’t even sound like French. If you speak schoolmarm French to them they’ll understand, but the way they speak to each other sounds like Hungarian or something.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  45. res says:
    @Bill
    Huh, I didn't know the word "euphonism." At first I thought it wasn't a word, but apparently it is.

    What's the difference between "euphonism" and "euphemism?" Are these just alternative spellings of the same word, or is there some difference in meaning? Does "euphonism" emphasize the way the word actually sounds, rather than just that it is an oblique way of saying something unpleasant? Or is "euphonism" the practice of using euphemisms?

    A new word for me as well. Looking at definitions the words seem clearly different. One is about the sound and the other is about the meaning.

    euphemism – a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.

    euphonism – An agreeable combination of sounds; euphony.

    To remember the latter think about the euphon root. For example:

    euphony – the quality of being pleasing to the ear, especially through a harmonious combination of words.

    P.S. I think Bill Jones meant euphemism. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  46. res says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    When Hans Eysenck and Art Jensen came to Melbourne to deliver the Theodor Fink Memorial Lectures in 1977 on respectively "Education and Personality" and "Intelligence and Education" I remember that part of what Eysenck was trying to have heard over the noise of the Socialists' organised protests was his idea that extraverts and introverts responded to diferent styles of teaching. Do you know where that idea stands now?

    A very good account of their visit to Melbourne University and protestors' behaviour can be found by Googling for Eysenck's long upbeat letter to The New Scientist of 27th October 1977.

    It is wrong in just one particular for certain. It was not the government of Victoria that gave a lunch for them by way of apology but yours truly WofOz who invited senior figures in government and Opposition, who all attended, though the Labor shafow minister for education was a bit edgy about any publicity since he knew very well who the leftist perpetrators of the destructive rotests were.

    As usual academics also disgraced themselves. Typical was a published letter from about 15 objecting to the visit of and platform for Eysenck and Jensen on grounds which made the unacceptable quite ludicrous because they ignored completely what their lectures were about. (Eysenck had just published a small book on race and intelligence which was him, effectually, sticking his neck out in support of Jensen, his former student).

    When Hans Eysenck and Art Jensen came to Melbourne to deliver the Theodor Fink Memorial Lectures in 1977 on respectively “Education and Personality” and “Intelligence and Education”

    By any chance does video exist of those? I did not see any with a quick search.

    his idea that extraverts and introverts responded to diferent styles of teaching. Do you know where that idea stands now?

    This 1982 article (3 pages) looks useful, but is quite old: http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el_198302_schmeck.pdf

    Would be nice to have a more recent update. Perhaps it is worth asking about this in James Thompson’s blog?

    A very good account of their visit to Melbourne University and protestors’ behaviour can be found by Googling for Eysenck’s long upbeat letter to The New Scientist of 27th October 1977.

    My Google-Fu proved inadequate. Could you give a more direct pointer please? Also, the magazine archives online don’t go back that far.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Thanks for stirring me to put asking James Thompson on my agenda even if so far only my one thumb on smartphone agenda (my excuse is that it must be good for degenerating discs which are due on the tennis court later that I remain supine for as long as possible). I have just Googled <> and the 27th October 1977 New Scientist letter came up at the top. The format is some sort of image rather than convenient .pdf.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    I doubt that videos of the lectures would exist though old TV footage of some of their being shouted down in Melbourne University's Wilson Hall might be archived domewhere. Even audio recordings would not be much use as Jensen gave up and Eysenck impassively read on while yhe shouting also went on so that hearing him properly, even in the front rows, was impossible. Someone at the Institute of Psychiatry might be able to find the text. Maybe Rosalind Arden, or James Thompson.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  47. MBlanc46 says:
    @Harry Baldwin
    I understand that Nelson Rockefeller insisted on face-to-face communication with his 30-year-old secretary and in fact was having that at the time of his death.

    Face-to-face? More like something-else to something-else.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  48. Pericles says:
    @Anon
    So, what should be the teaching style for those whose learning style is "I don't feel like learning anything."

    Hard labor is a lesson too.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  49. @FX Enderby
    Does Trump have a touch of dyslexia? Either way, it's a pleasure to see him dismantle King David's globalist project. David is still alive, right? If he has any brain cells left he must be spinning in his gold-plated hospital bed. As for Henry, the world's greatest yes man is still living large at 93.

    I think it quite likely that Trump is at least somewhat dyslexic.

    He is obviously intelligent and can function very effectively in complex negotiations.

    But I began to suspect dyslexia when various observers noticed that his residences had very few or no books at all.

    It would also explain his limited vocabulary.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  50. @Anon7
    Different learning styles is also one of the reasons that middle school kids carry as much weight in their backpacks as Marines.

    It's the books. When I took algebra back in the day, the book we used was a standard-sized volume of 225 pages. The book my kids used was an oversized volume of 1,400 pages that weighed ten pounds. Why was it so huge? Different students learn in different ways, they said, and we must meet the needs of every kind.

    Multiply that by four college prep subjects, and scrawny middle schoolers can't even carry their backpacks.

    The glorious absurdity of it all.

    What’s coming, we deserve.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  51. @Anonymous
    Hey Joeyjoejoey all you had to do to learn French was spend a summer in Montreal meeting the damoiselles. Right there is your motivation. I forget exactly why but Montreal has a much higher percentage of pretty girls than the average city. Some quirk of history.

    Of course the Quebecois accent leaves much to be desired and they are ethnocentric people but c'est la vie.

    No, better to know no French at all than to learn it in Quebec.
    The English may once have curled their lips at the sound of American English, but they were sweet lambs in comparison to the Olympian and sharply expressed disdain of any Frenchman, even now, at the sound of a Quebécois.
    But your general principal is exactly right: go to where the language is spoken and you’ll learn it easily and well.
    Use any other method and you’ll flounder.
    Children don’t learn to speak by reading books; why should it work for adults?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    At 18 after 6 weeks of total immersion with an educated German family I spoke and understood German far better than I spoke and unserstood French after four or five uninspiring years of it at school.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  52. Pericles says:

    There are still some useful mental abilities that seem not to be described by g, or at least directly tested by IQ tests. Maybe there is correlation there too?

    As mentioned above, musicality. Quite useful in the mating game, over many species. Some of us have adaptations to sing or play at a qualitatively better level (e.g., perfect pitch). On the other hand, it seems common among mathematicians so it might be correlated with g.

    Creativity seems to be left mostly unexamined and unmeasured. Yet whitey seems to have outperformed in this compared to our IQ.

    Persuasiveness and perhaps charisma.

    I’m also wondering if ‘reaction speed’ as shown in collective sports, of interacting with a very rapidly changing situation, is something that should be examined. Perhaps it doesn’t help much in the modern world?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    3-d mental imaging can be measured well by IQ tests. It's a valuable skill that, while it does correlate positively with g, it doesn't correlate as well as most of the other cognitive skills that are measured on IQ tests.

    It's kind of like when buying a PC, you can choose separately the CPU (g) and the graphics chip (3-d).

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  53. E e says:
    @pyrrhus
    I don't think anything except better nutrition, to a very minor extent, can affect your IQ, which is fundamentally brain speed. But I do think that people at various positions on the autism scale may benefit from different forms of knowledge transmission. It would be hard to test, however...

    Except, “learning styles” are generally used to justify lots of group work and open ended projects, and as little as possible of, say, a clearly defined math problem set. Even for those who aren’t “on the spectrum”, if you don’t care for crafts and find your classmates to be full, being forced to do groupwork and projects can be a real pain. Even if you pick your own project topic and don’t have to have partners, if the teacher isn’t particularly bright, she won’t care how much you actually learned… (Yes, there’s something to be said for being able to communicate complicated ideas in a simple way, but if kids are told, on the one hand, how wonderfully smart teachers are, but on the other hand, the 6th grade teacher can’t grasp a topic from World Book, one is inclined to be rather cynical about the whole thing…)

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  54. E e says:
    @Anon7
    Different learning styles is also one of the reasons that middle school kids carry as much weight in their backpacks as Marines.

    It's the books. When I took algebra back in the day, the book we used was a standard-sized volume of 225 pages. The book my kids used was an oversized volume of 1,400 pages that weighed ten pounds. Why was it so huge? Different students learn in different ways, they said, and we must meet the needs of every kind.

    Multiply that by four college prep subjects, and scrawny middle schoolers can't even carry their backpacks.

    Ironically, given how much some people like to look to Finland for education ideas, the idea of small, concise textbooks doesn’t seem to be of interest… (Heck, it seems to be true for all those countries that perform better on international tests, and yet…)

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  55. guest says:
    @Anon7
    Different learning styles is also one of the reasons that middle school kids carry as much weight in their backpacks as Marines.

    It's the books. When I took algebra back in the day, the book we used was a standard-sized volume of 225 pages. The book my kids used was an oversized volume of 1,400 pages that weighed ten pounds. Why was it so huge? Different students learn in different ways, they said, and we must meet the needs of every kind.

    Multiply that by four college prep subjects, and scrawny middle schoolers can't even carry their backpacks.

    Textbooks are huge also because publishers have monopolies, or near-monopolies. Administrators/educrats/teachers don’t give a crap about intellectual quality or getting the most for their buck. Even in college, you find heavy-duty covers and binding, thick glossy pages, color photographs, reams of bad writing, and useless additions every year so they can put out new editions as part of artificial obsolescence schemes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon7
    I've also heard the theory that huge books are also intended to make up for wide variation in teacher quality. In other words, if a bright or hard-working student happens to get a dull teacher, that student could teach themselves from the text.

    The only problem is that you're right, the books are full of crap. My kids used math text books that started every chapter with a Spanish vocabulary lesson. Yup. Math in Spanish.

    On one occasion, in order to help my son find an answer in a chapter, I had to use my hands like Mr. Monk to block out all of the weird crap and "creative" typography to find the information I needed.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  56. guest says:
    @Desiderius

    the hard realities of IQ science
     
    Here's one:

    Over the time period we've been screening our ruling class for IQ at a young age, and then periodically up to maturity*, several measures of social health have taken a nosedive and we now have a ruling class that pretty blatantly can't distinguish their ass from a hole in the ground, whatever their IQ.

    Perhaps there is some dynamic your measure is missing.

    * - whatever lies we tell ourselves, and roadblocks that have been added in for the unwary, the beat still goes on.

    IQ isn’t meant to take account of every conceivable “dynamic.” You might find yourself arguing it doesn’t even measure intelligence, as traditionally understood, if we lived in the world of Harrison Bergeron, where smart people have bells go off in their ears to prevent them from thinking too much.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  57. SPMoore8 says:
    @joeyjoejoe
    I would have agreed with most of you ("no such thing as learning styles: IQ=ability. Cut the BS"0, if it weren't for my experience with language (see an earlier note, above), as well as my experience with music.

    I've already described my experience with languages, but I'd imagine the lessons from it are pretty universal: most of us have a certain perception of our own intelligence (I'd guess its pretty high-accurately so-amongst readers of this blog), and I bet most of us here, have also had the experience of taking a language class, and doing reasonably well, but seeing that one guy who just seems to get it.

    In other words, there is some ability outside of IQ (or outside of general academic ability) that allows for language acquisition, that most people (including most people with higher IQs) don't have. I was able to overcome that to some extent by, as I mentioned earlier, working to my strengths (reading comprehension), and avoiding my weaknesses (oral comprehension, memorization of sounds and pronounciation, etc).

    But this very same mechanism works, and most of us know this, with musical talent. I have also worked on and off, for years, at learning the piano, and am having roughly the same experience that I have had with languages (without figuring out the 'hook' for me to get good at it).

    I can sense my experience of playing the piano is similar to one's experience of typing without having memorized the keyboard, or one's experience of writing a sentence in a foreign language without it being 'in there.' I am forced to think about the process (by typing 'fork', one hunts and pecks 'f-o-r-k'. By writing 'I regret nothing', I am forced to hunt and peck 'I-je. regret- ne regrette. Nothing- rein. Je ne regrette rien! phew!' Beethoven's fifth? Du-Du-Du-doooon. Hunt and peck the sounds and intervals). The process is not internalized.

    And I suspect most of us (unless you have that musical talent) have a very similar experience. Music is an oddity in that it is clearly orthogonal to IQ- lower IQ (even autistic folks) can have the ability. And we basically all know it, but pooh-pooh the implications ('There's no such thing as learning styles. Music? Well music is different').

    I'm suggesting that, while the concept of learning styles may be overwrought, the concept of differing 'talents' or abilities, and the consequences of acknowledging those differences, certainly implies something like a 'learning style' answer.

    I'm assuming most of you are like this (and, like me in this regard): you are pretty good at reading/reading comprehension (or math, of you are an engineer/scientist/accountant). You easily 'got' reading/math in school, and assumed those that didn't were some combination of lower IQ/lower work ethic. You also have very little musical talent-perhaps you played clarinet in the band, but that's about it.

    But now: what if your ease in reading/learning math, but struggle with learning music theory, were reversed? I'm guessing musicians memorize, and grasp, and learn, music with similar ease that we memorize, and grasp, and learn literature/calculus.

    And as mentioned, these specialized talents apply to other fields as well. Language is one. Conversation and mental quickness is another-we all know extroverts, or 'the life of the party,' or debaters, or stand-up comedians. They have a verbal conversational talent that is also orthogonal to IQ. The guys that are good at chatting up a girl in a bar aren't necessarily getting high SAT scores. Heck: even the two IQ measurable talents (math and reading comprehension) often aren't identical and coexistent in the same individual.

    So I really don't think the answer to this issue is IQ = ability. Math nerds who haven't read anything have high IQ. Voracious readers who can't balance their checkbook have high IQ. Musicians, or actors, or polyglots may or may not have high IQ. So its not so implausible that people with different abilities have different means of learning and memorizing new data. Our current 'learning ability' regime may not be the answer, but that doesn't invalidate the question.

    joeyjoejoe

    I think the aptitude for languages or music are very similar and I think it comes down to a love sound. (I’m thinking of spoken languages now.)

    And that’s why I advocate using different approaches to whatever you are studying. Because, #1, the key to learning is endless repetition. But you can’t focus on the repetition if it is boring. So you have to find ways to keep it interesting, and that means using different approaches frequently.

    Vocabulary drills are important. In any STEM field, drills are important: tables, formulae, equations, nomenclature. So are practicing scales. The smart pupil will grasp the underlying concept immediately: so they will not want to practice. You have to practice. That’s key: that’s how the automaticity happens, the spontaneity. Drill, drill, drill.

    When you talk about musicians, someone like Hendrix just didn’t sit down with a guitar. No, he had a guitar and he played it all the time. But he wasn’t bored because he knew what he was trying to achieve, for himself. Then one day you wake up and you are pretty good. That’s the way it is with everything.

    So, to teach successfully, you have to vary the tasks to keep the students interested. And you have to emphasize the importance of drill. And drill is boring, but it’s no less boring than running five miles a day to stay healthy or increase your cardio or what have you (or walking, or whatever.) That’s where you have to take the subject matter and find a way to make it important to you. Then you’ll never get tired of studying whatever.

    Now, not everyone is cut out for book learning or for doing math. But if they have drive they will put it into something that is interesting to them. And then you have a useful expert in some field and he’ll do fine. BTW, two of the most brilliant mathematicians I knew had problems with dyslexia and one was almost completely blind. One had a native interest in music, and one did not. But they took their drive and put it into something they were good at and they got very good at it.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  58. @Pericles
    There are still some useful mental abilities that seem not to be described by g, or at least directly tested by IQ tests. Maybe there is correlation there too?

    As mentioned above, musicality. Quite useful in the mating game, over many species. Some of us have adaptations to sing or play at a qualitatively better level (e.g., perfect pitch). On the other hand, it seems common among mathematicians so it might be correlated with g.

    Creativity seems to be left mostly unexamined and unmeasured. Yet whitey seems to have outperformed in this compared to our IQ.

    Persuasiveness and perhaps charisma.

    I'm also wondering if 'reaction speed' as shown in collective sports, of interacting with a very rapidly changing situation, is something that should be examined. Perhaps it doesn't help much in the modern world?

    3-d mental imaging can be measured well by IQ tests. It’s a valuable skill that, while it does correlate positively with g, it doesn’t correlate as well as most of the other cognitive skills that are measured on IQ tests.

    It’s kind of like when buying a PC, you can choose separately the CPU (g) and the graphics chip (3-d).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I think you've explained why the army never let me fiddle with truck engines but let me fire heavy artillery and jump from planes :-)
    , @Pericles
    Now that you mention it, we did have a 3D section on our intelligence test at the Swedish military draft combine a ... (cough) number of years ago.

    If memory serves, it was similar to Raven's matrices except you had to figure out the final shape after mentally folding a paper according to some rules and choose the correct alternative. Fun! Since this was in a time when most of us did not do prep tests, it was also the first time I encountered that sort of test.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  59. Anon7 says:
    @Anon7
    Different learning styles is also one of the reasons that middle school kids carry as much weight in their backpacks as Marines.

    It's the books. When I took algebra back in the day, the book we used was a standard-sized volume of 225 pages. The book my kids used was an oversized volume of 1,400 pages that weighed ten pounds. Why was it so huge? Different students learn in different ways, they said, and we must meet the needs of every kind.

    Multiply that by four college prep subjects, and scrawny middle schoolers can't even carry their backpacks.

    Kind of a reply to all commenters-

    I got my revenge! So sweet.

    After years of straining under the weight of these useless garbage collections full of color graphs, my son finally got to 400-level college math classes in which the textbooks contained (wait for it…) NO PICTURES!! Front-to-back black and white text.

    Just equations and proofs, glorious proofs.

    And they were back to being more like 250 pages, because math packs a lot into a small space.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  60. Anon7 says:
    @guest
    Textbooks are huge also because publishers have monopolies, or near-monopolies. Administrators/educrats/teachers don't give a crap about intellectual quality or getting the most for their buck. Even in college, you find heavy-duty covers and binding, thick glossy pages, color photographs, reams of bad writing, and useless additions every year so they can put out new editions as part of artificial obsolescence schemes.

    I’ve also heard the theory that huge books are also intended to make up for wide variation in teacher quality. In other words, if a bright or hard-working student happens to get a dull teacher, that student could teach themselves from the text.

    The only problem is that you’re right, the books are full of crap. My kids used math text books that started every chapter with a Spanish vocabulary lesson. Yup. Math in Spanish.

    On one occasion, in order to help my son find an answer in a chapter, I had to use my hands like Mr. Monk to block out all of the weird crap and “creative” typography to find the information I needed.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  61. @res

    When Hans Eysenck and Art Jensen came to Melbourne to deliver the Theodor Fink Memorial Lectures in 1977 on respectively “Education and Personality” and “Intelligence and Education”
     
    By any chance does video exist of those? I did not see any with a quick search.

    his idea that extraverts and introverts responded to diferent styles of teaching. Do you know where that idea stands now?

     

    This 1982 article (3 pages) looks useful, but is quite old: www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el_198302_schmeck.pdf

    Would be nice to have a more recent update. Perhaps it is worth asking about this in James Thompson's blog?

    A very good account of their visit to Melbourne University and protestors’ behaviour can be found by Googling for Eysenck’s long upbeat letter to The New Scientist of 27th October 1977.

     

    My Google-Fu proved inadequate. Could you give a more direct pointer please? Also, the magazine archives online don't go back that far.

    Thanks for stirring me to put asking James Thompson on my agenda even if so far only my one thumb on smartphone agenda (my excuse is that it must be good for degenerating discs which are due on the tennis court later that I remain supine for as long as possible). I have just Googled <> and the 27th October 1977 New Scientist letter came up at the top. The format is some sort of image rather than convenient .pdf.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  62. @res

    When Hans Eysenck and Art Jensen came to Melbourne to deliver the Theodor Fink Memorial Lectures in 1977 on respectively “Education and Personality” and “Intelligence and Education”
     
    By any chance does video exist of those? I did not see any with a quick search.

    his idea that extraverts and introverts responded to diferent styles of teaching. Do you know where that idea stands now?

     

    This 1982 article (3 pages) looks useful, but is quite old: www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el_198302_schmeck.pdf

    Would be nice to have a more recent update. Perhaps it is worth asking about this in James Thompson's blog?

    A very good account of their visit to Melbourne University and protestors’ behaviour can be found by Googling for Eysenck’s long upbeat letter to The New Scientist of 27th October 1977.

     

    My Google-Fu proved inadequate. Could you give a more direct pointer please? Also, the magazine archives online don't go back that far.

    I doubt that videos of the lectures would exist though old TV footage of some of their being shouted down in Melbourne University’s Wilson Hall might be archived domewhere. Even audio recordings would not be much use as Jensen gave up and Eysenck impassively read on while yhe shouting also went on so that hearing him properly, even in the front rows, was impossible. Someone at the Institute of Psychiatry might be able to find the text. Maybe Rosalind Arden, or James Thompson.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  63. @Steve Sailer
    3-d mental imaging can be measured well by IQ tests. It's a valuable skill that, while it does correlate positively with g, it doesn't correlate as well as most of the other cognitive skills that are measured on IQ tests.

    It's kind of like when buying a PC, you can choose separately the CPU (g) and the graphics chip (3-d).

    I think you’ve explained why the army never let me fiddle with truck engines but let me fire heavy artillery and jump from planes :-)

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  64. Pericles says:
    @Steve Sailer
    3-d mental imaging can be measured well by IQ tests. It's a valuable skill that, while it does correlate positively with g, it doesn't correlate as well as most of the other cognitive skills that are measured on IQ tests.

    It's kind of like when buying a PC, you can choose separately the CPU (g) and the graphics chip (3-d).

    Now that you mention it, we did have a 3D section on our intelligence test at the Swedish military draft combine a … (cough) number of years ago.

    If memory serves, it was similar to Raven’s matrices except you had to figure out the final shape after mentally folding a paper according to some rules and choose the correct alternative. Fun! Since this was in a time when most of us did not do prep tests, it was also the first time I encountered that sort of test.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  65. @Old Palo Altan
    No, better to know no French at all than to learn it in Quebec.
    The English may once have curled their lips at the sound of American English, but they were sweet lambs in comparison to the Olympian and sharply expressed disdain of any Frenchman, even now, at the sound of a Quebécois.
    But your general principal is exactly right: go to where the language is spoken and you'll learn it easily and well.
    Use any other method and you'll flounder.
    Children don't learn to speak by reading books; why should it work for adults?

    At 18 after 6 weeks of total immersion with an educated German family I spoke and understood German far better than I spoke and unserstood French after four or five uninspiring years of it at school.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    Did the German family have a pretty daughter? That is quite an incentive to learn a foreign language, in my case, la langue française (the French tongue).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  66. Ivy says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    At 18 after 6 weeks of total immersion with an educated German family I spoke and understood German far better than I spoke and unserstood French after four or five uninspiring years of it at school.

    Did the German family have a pretty daughter? That is quite an incentive to learn a foreign language, in my case, la langue française (the French tongue).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  67. @Anon7
    Different learning styles is also one of the reasons that middle school kids carry as much weight in their backpacks as Marines.

    It's the books. When I took algebra back in the day, the book we used was a standard-sized volume of 225 pages. The book my kids used was an oversized volume of 1,400 pages that weighed ten pounds. Why was it so huge? Different students learn in different ways, they said, and we must meet the needs of every kind.

    Multiply that by four college prep subjects, and scrawny middle schoolers can't even carry their backpacks.

    The myth of “learning styles” brought forth this extraordinary public rebuttal, yesterday, by leading British neuroscientists.

    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/mar/12/no-evidence-to-back-idea-of-learning-styles?CMP=twt_a-science_b-gdnscience

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  68. Gringo says:
    @anonitron1
    Nice White Lady teachers love "learning styles" because they think it helps defuse the sense, inherent in any classroom, that some of the kids present are dumber than the other kids. Kids don't really buy it except as a coping mechanism. "I'm not dumb, I'm just a kinesthetic learner." "I'd do better but the teacher doesn't teach in the right way."

    It also lets younger teachers think of themselves as instructional mavericks. Every teacher I had during the entirety of my primary education seemed to think all the other teachers were subjecting us to some kind of weird, 19th century lecture-only lesson plan when I would have welcomed a break from all the insipid group projects and integrated learning garbage that dominated the curriculum.

    Nice White Lady teachers love “learning styles” because they think it helps defuse the sense, inherent in any classroom, that some of the kids present are dumber than the other kids. Kids don’t really buy it except as a coping mechanism. “I’m not dumb, I’m just a kinesthetic learner.” “I’d do better but the teacher doesn’t teach in the right way.”

    While some teachers may believe that their students are not aware of how they are classified, students are all too aware. Students are aware of what is the “dumb class” and what is the “smart class.” When I was substituting at a middle school that had a problematic reputation for years, a student asked me if I taught there because I liked working with problem kids.

    “Learning styles” is just one of a succession of fads to sweep the Ed Biz. The fads sweep the Ed Biz before their efficacy has yet to be documented. A decade or so after the fad has been adopted wholesale into classrooms across the country, the research comes out that the fad isn’t effective. Rinse and repeat. The king is dead, long live the king.
    Which is why experienced teachers often roll their eyes at the then-newest fad to sweep the Ed Biz. They have seen the hype before. They have also seen the lack of documented results before.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    How much of the learning style charade is to help parents rationalize themselves and their spawn?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  69. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Rod1963

    There was a way that communities dealt with such malfeasance in the past: they established their own schools. They took the hits to their pocketbooks and lifestyles, they retrenched, they valued education, and they established their own private schools. And that’s why today those communities exist as large plurality populations that are generally more successful on average than others.
     
    That is a great idea, fighting D.C. and the school districts has been a losing proposition. Parents have devoted a lot of time and money fighting them with little to show for it. The public schools have deteriorated in many urban and suburban areas to be unfit for teaching children now. D.C. and the states are incapable of correcting them because the schools are by their very designed to produce ruined kids.

    However most whites lack the sort of community solidarity to work and sacrifice together to make their own private schools a reality which not only benefits their kids but those to come.

    However most whites lack the sort of community solidarity to work and sacrifice together to make their own private schools a reality

    It’s very difficult to motivate people to that kind of self-sacrifice without religion.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  70. Ivy says:
    @Gringo
    Nice White Lady teachers love “learning styles” because they think it helps defuse the sense, inherent in any classroom, that some of the kids present are dumber than the other kids. Kids don’t really buy it except as a coping mechanism. “I’m not dumb, I’m just a kinesthetic learner.” “I’d do better but the teacher doesn’t teach in the right way.”

    While some teachers may believe that their students are not aware of how they are classified, students are all too aware. Students are aware of what is the "dumb class" and what is the "smart class." When I was substituting at a middle school that had a problematic reputation for years, a student asked me if I taught there because I liked working with problem kids.

    "Learning styles" is just one of a succession of fads to sweep the Ed Biz. The fads sweep the Ed Biz before their efficacy has yet to be documented. A decade or so after the fad has been adopted wholesale into classrooms across the country, the research comes out that the fad isn't effective. Rinse and repeat. The king is dead, long live the king.
    Which is why experienced teachers often roll their eyes at the then-newest fad to sweep the Ed Biz. They have seen the hype before. They have also seen the lack of documented results before.

    How much of the learning style charade is to help parents rationalize themselves and their spawn?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Steve Sailer Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?