Virtual School Meanderings

January 8, 2014

Do Learners Really Know Best? Urban Legends in Education

Some real lessons for folks involved in K-12 online learning in this article (well, all of K-12 education really).  Too bad those neo-liberal proponent of K-12 online learning won’t read or pay attention to any of this, you see if doesn’t fit into their dominant narrative that they have going on…

Do Learners Really Know Best? Urban Legends in Education

Paul A. Kirschner
Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies
Open University of The Netherlands

Jeroen J. G. van Merrienboer
Department of Educational Development & Research and Graduate School of Health Professions Education
Maastricht University

(2013). Educational Psychologist, 48(3), 169–183.

Abstract: This article takes a critical look at three pervasive urban legends in education about the nature of learners,learning,and teaching and looks at what educational and psychological research has to say about them. The three legends can be seen as variations on one central theme, namely, that it is the learner who knows best and that she or he should be the controlling force in her or his learning. The first legend is one of learners as digital natives who form a generation of students knowing by nature how to learn from new media, and for whom “old” media and methods used in teaching/learning no longer work. The second legend is the widespread belief that learners have specific learning styles and that education should be individualized to the extent that the pedagogy of teaching/learning is matched to the preferred style of the learner. The final legend is that learners ought to be seen as self-educators who should be given maximum control over what they are learning and their learning trajectory. It concludes with a possible reason why these legends have taken hold, are so pervasive, and are so difficult to eradicate.

Read full text at:

The funny thing is that the day after this article came across my electronic desk, this showed up in my inbox.

eSchool News
This Week’s Top Educator Resource:

Personalized Learning: How Technology Can Help

Best Practices

No two students are the same; each brings their own interests, learning modalities, strengths, and prior knowledge of the topic at hand. Addressing students’ individual learning needs in the classroom has always been a key challenge for educators—but new instructional technologies can help.

With student polling software, for instance, teachers can get an accurate, immediate view of each learner’s progress—a concept known as “feedback for learning”—and can tailor their instruction to meet students’ individual needs in real time. And putting mobile technology in the hands of every child allows students to explore their own interests and opens a whole world of self-guided instruction.

With the generous support of Promethean, we’ve assembled this collection of stories to help you use technology to personalize learning for students in your own schools.

Inside this free resource, you’ll learn about:

© Copyright 2013 eSchool News  | |  |  1-800-394-0115

Will we ever learn?

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