Hi, hope you’re doing well!
I don’t know if you get the Marshall Memo—some districts have a subscription for all their administrators—it’s a very useful summary of the latest and greatest, so to speak. The website is https://marshallmemo.com I think it really helps with the struggle of trying to keep up with what’s out there, and it doesn’t take long to read. And frequently I find articles and blog posts that say things that I want to say but don’t know well enough to say well. This week’s memo has an example of exactly that, and I’m going to draw your attention to the work on learning styles summarized in the memo this week.
Learning styles as a construct and as a set of related practices (i.e. teaching to learning styles, differentiating instruction for different learning styles) was debunked many years ago, but still persists. I think there are many different lessons to be learned from this example, but all I would encourage you to do with this right now is to listen closely to how teachers talk about themselves, their students, and teaching—what does it tell you about the assumptions about all three that they, and you, are operating under? How do they, and you, know whether they are right or not? And what are you going to do to shape a shared understanding of what good teaching looks like that is not only shared but also research-based?
As always, I would appreciate any feedback you have as to how useful this email is, whether there is any specific follow up you would like for yourself or your team, and whether there are any other topics you would like to resources for.
Isobel Stevenson PhD PCC
Connecticut Center for School Change
151 New Park Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106