Generational Learning Styles Are Bunk, Part 28

Via Downes, this 2008 summary of the research on whether today’s students really do learn differently. The answer is probably best summed up in these two excerpts:

“In contrast to the dubious bromides provided by the “experts” quoted above, a review of educational research reveals that there are virtually no research-based findings or evidence drawn from robust learning theory that supports the differential effectiveness of different instructional designs or strategies across the generations. Nor is there a compelling case for the development of a new instructional design model to accommodate generational differences.”

and towards the end

The major question addressed in this review is whether generational difference is a variable important enough to be considered during the design of instruction or the use of different educational technologies. At this time, the weight of the evidence is negative.”

No one reading this blog is surprised by this, I’m sure. It was a ridiculous idea on it’s face to start with. 

It’s time to kill this zombie myth though. Next time you see someone cite this idea that Millenials “learn differently” please take the lecturer aside afterwards and gently inform him or her that there is not a single high-quality study that supports this — and there are a number of decent studies that refute it. Maybe in time we can undo this ridiculousness…

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