“You are NOT a visual learner”

The take home message from this video is that there is no…noNO research that backs up the claims made for ‘learning styles’. Most people learn best when they are provided with a kind of multi-media presentation – visual, auditory, and reading. And, of course, in some subjects, kinetic [doing] is vital.

I’ve long been critical of education theories in general because they’re airy fairy at best and actually harmful at worst. Pigeon holing students as this type of learner or that, denies them the full range of information which might make something ‘click’.

As teachers, we are performers whose task it is to engage the audience. And students are that audience. Yes, it’s exhausting, but without that engagement there will be no learning.

I qualified as a secondary school teacher back in the 70’s so I have no idea what teacher training is like now, but if I had my way, I’d recruit teachers from amongst the acting community. From that base, I’d then teach them the other skills teachers need. And I’d recognize their unique skills and dedication by paying them what they’re worth. Only then will the best and brightest teach the movers and shakers of the future.


About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

24 responses to ““You are NOT a visual learner”

  • roughwighting

    Oh I love this! Absolutely right teachers are performers. Like you I got my secondary teaching certification in the mid 70s. I never taught in the classroom but I’ve been teaching adults creative writing for over 25 years. And believe me, I perform! πŸ€—

    Liked by 2 people

  • Widdershins

    A visual will kick-start my brain but I also need the theory to back it up … and sometimes it’s the other way around.
    Probably why I wasn’t impressed with almost all of my teachers! πŸ˜€ circa 1963-1972 πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      lol – you me both, Widds. I personally think we learn by weaving a whole lot of disparate bits of information together into a ‘whole’. Each bit reinforces all the others until we get that ‘ah hah!’ moment. Visuals on their own are just one ‘bit’ of the whole.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Candy Korman

    Teachers have “styles” as much as students, but we all have to adjust to one another. LOL… I do my best when I’m on either end of the exchange. We know so little about how we learn and yet we DO IT and many of us do it well. There are a lot of silly theories about everything important and nothing is more important than education!

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      I totally agree, Candy. Most of what I’ve learned about teaching I didn’t actually learn in a class – I learned it from other teachers, the ones who cut through and lit a spark. My Dad was one, a nun in high school was another, one of my supervisors during teacher training was the third. Each one had a different style but their…passion? was contagious. They definitely lit sparks in me. πŸ™‚


  • Matthew Wright

    It’s interesting how people learn – usually all differently. I recall a teacher I had at high school in the 1970s who used OHP slides – on which he’d draw – jokes, and explanations which seemed to work for everybody in the class – he was an AWESOME teacher and his pass-rates for the external exams were sky high. I heard from him just last year – he’d bought one of my books and tracked me down to say he liked it. Introduced himself by suggesting I might not remember him, but nobody could forget this guy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Yes! I’m not surprised you had a teacher like that. Teaching is communication, first and foremost, and you became a communicator. Not with the spoken word but with words nonetheless.
      Teachers who can inspire us are worth their weight in precious gems! (gold is so passe, dontcha know πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    The problem with teaching is that it is difficult to be all things to all students at the SAME TIME.

    With zero energy, I managed to get three kids from K to top colleges; still don’t know how I did it, but, thought I might have put a bit of something into it when I read aloud to them, and have acting training, it was never conscious. Subject + student + teacher somehow played out in the most efficient use of my time – because they were sponges.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Yes, standing up in a classroom in front of a large group of individuals, all with their own needs, and getting through to them is tough.
      I’m an introvert, and I’ve never done any acting, but I had to perform on the piano and in ballet, so I learned to switch off the fear, but its still exhausting. I always feel as if I’m coming off an adrenaline high when I finish a class. I suppose I probably am.
      People tend to think that kids don’t want to /learn/. The truth is much simpler than that. Kids don’t want to be bored. If you can engage their curiosity, they will soak up information and ask for more. They really are sponges. πŸ™‚


  • Anonymole

    Oh the lies we tell ourselves.

    You see where Veritasium got both Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye to chime in on his faster than the wind video? I guess he’s now “networked”.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Books & Bonsai

    First: we do need better teachers, and second, nobody deserves to be pigeonholed. Learning, in my opinion, is not a science, more of a magical intervention!

    Liked by 4 people

    • acflory

      Yes and yes. For much too long, teaching has been seen as a kind of booby prize or second best career path. That’s not to say there have not been absolutely fan-bloody-tastic teachers in school; they’ve been there, soldiering on against the odds. But they need real help. As for learning not being a science…it isn’t at the moment, but it maybe should be. Trouble is we still know so little about how our brains really work. :/

      Liked by 2 people

  • davidprosser

    Why be modest if you have the skills that matter.

    Liked by 3 people

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