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Oh please don't remind me. I was buried in this kind of crap during the eight months I trained up to be a high school teacher (and is part of the reason why I decided to go back to grad school).

It seems there's a wide group of teachers that get entraced by any educational psychological pseudo-theory that sounds vaguely scientific, has some magic cure-all for all their students needs and supports their biases about how education should work.

Take for example the theory of multiple intelligences. When I was taught that in education classes, I thought the useful message was "Try to engage your students in multiple ways to keep things interesting." However most people - including some of the tutors - seemed to grasp it as "try to teach a topic in every possible way in order to cover the multiple inheritances".

This lead to frustating converations like this:


Tutor: Now lets thing of ways you can use a radio presentation to teach your subject area. What area are you training to teach?

Me: I'm teaching maths.

Tutor: So how could you let your class put on a radio show in order to better understand say, trigonometry?

Me: I wouldn't. I would teach them through engaging problems involving real world triangles and measurement.

Tutor: But you've got to engage their auditory-musical intelligence as well as their visual-spacial.

Me: But it's geometry. That is visual-spacial intelligence. That's what it is.

The only sanity in all that is that most of the actual real world high school teachers I met (at least the good ones, which were thankfully plenty) knew that all this was total rubbish and ignored it in their own classes. But my opinion of education did dip several notches during that class, mostly because the rest of my classmates did not realise how loopy it all was (except strangely enough the student math teachers, who all thought like I did for some reason [grin]).

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I agree that the Meyers-Briggs VAK (visual/auditory/kinesthetic) stuff is bullshit. There's no room for that kind of bad science in education, and I think it promotes even lazier teaching.

The worst part is that, like "dyslexia" and "autism", it gives people key words to excuse their kid from not being non-shit. Well, get out of the fucking course then.

Teachers should be engaging their little puke pails and not trying to appeal to them with this sophomoric new-age hippie bullshit (many high schools here are now career-focused to make up for their lack of funding from the provincial government; indeed, they mandate exit interviews instead of final exams. "What do you think is a mark you deserve for this course? How did you feel about this course?").

Utter fucking bollocks. This shit gets my goat like none other.

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