Mission statement

Some questions I would like to answer on this blog:

– How can meditation and mindfulness help you learn and, more importantly, how does it work (because if you know which parts of mindfulness are especially helpful for learning, you can focus on those)

– As it turns out, learning styles are a myth. I’m not quite ready to bury the myth completely though. As I understand it, psychologists have not been able to confirm the existence of learning styles because they have been to broadly defined. But what if we look at very small areas of learning? What about learning vocabulary, for instance? As a teacher, I can’t help thinking that some people seem to just pick words up in an immersive setting, some people need to make flash cards and find a mnemonic device for every new word (that would be me!), and some people are no good at coming up with mnemonic devices so their only hope is quizzing themselves at increasingly longer intervals. Now, all people should do all of the above, but some aspects work better for some than for others. So wouldn’t that be a learning style? I’m not sure, but I want to find out!

– What is the association between class size and student achievement? Apparently, there is none (which I learned from this rather good book), but I think many teachers find that hard to believe. So I would like to look up where these results came from. Maybe all the research was done in exceptionally quiet classes? Because that’s my problem with this association: bigger classes mean more disruptions, and surely that’s not good for achievement?

– What kind of feedback promotes learning? (I’ll admit, this is just your basic run-of-the-mill teacher training college question, but I’m not quite sure of the answer so I should look it up. And if I look it up, I might as well write about it! :-)

– What’s up with sub-vocalizing and speed reading? Although speed reading per se doesn’t actually exist, people who “switch off” their sub-vocalizing (the little voice in your head that reads out the words as you read them) are able to read much faster. I want that! How do I do that?

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