Besides Learning Styles – Other ‘Zombie’ Theories That Should Rest In Peace

It Is Not a Valid Excuse

That everyone else is doing it, using it, talking about it, publishing on it:

Learning Styles

… is but one example.

But But

Here is another great article on this … 2 parts of it anyway …

Classroom practice – Listen closely, learning styles are a lost cause
news | Published in TES magazine on 21 November, 2014 | By: Daniel Willingham

So why do some teachers still insist that learning styles exist? First, people are confusing learning styles and ability. The former suggests that
someone can learn better through a particular medium, the latter implies that they are better able to remember certain types of information.
For example, if you are the sort of person who can remember a face after meeting someone only once, the chances are you have good visual abilities.

Likewise, if you have a good ear for a tune, you are likely to have good auditory abilities.
What the theory of learning styles states is that this ability transfers to how we learn. Therefore, if you are a “visual” learner, seeing information
means you can understand it better. But while you might remember the information more easily if you are high in visual ability, there is a difference between remembering a face and understanding who that person is. There is simply no evidence that a visual learning style will help students in their understanding.

And…

I should stress that even though learning styles do not exist, this does not mean that all children are the same. We know that children differ, for example, in the knowledge that they bring to the classroom, in their interests and in their academic confidence. As far as they can, teachers should differentiate to account for these factors.

But the theory of learning styles is an attempt by researchers to impose organisation on these differences. Instead of just saying that children are different, the intention is to categorise them: if you know that a child falls into the “holistic learner” category and not the “serial learner” category, so the theory goes, you can teach them more effectively. But you can’t. It’s a lie we need to stop telling.

To get the rest of this article please go – here.

But Wait – There’s More!!!

Following the Willingham article is this gem….

Tom Bennett on the ‘zombie’ theories that should rest in peace
Zombie ideas are popular beliefs that linger on long after they have been shown to have little or no evidence base. Some of the theories below have faded in popularity, some remain mainly in memory and others still terrorise children and teachers on a daily basis.

Thinking hats
At one point, not too long ago, there was a roaring trade in coloured caps, beanbags and wigs as children were encouraged to assume roles and unlock different chambers of their faculties. Unfortunately the evidence mainly consists of testimonials and painfully small studies.

Bloom’s Taxonomy
Status: everywhere. Lesson plans hum with the sound of teachers fretting about how much of each layer they have delivered. But from base
knowledge to the divine stratosphere of creation and criticism, it remains a highly contested model of thought, with worrying moral judgements inferred from its structure and order. That’s not to say that teachers haven’t found it useful, but this implies nothing about its veracity.

Neurolinguistic programming
This bundle of sunbeams seasoned with a soupçon of science was all the rage in the last decade, even though questions were asked about its utility from the day it was born. It is a “science of success” that promises everything from the ability to detect lies to influencing the weak-minded. Sadly, the scientific backing is somewhat smaller than the hoopla surrounding it.

Multiple intelligences 

Some people are mathematical thinkers. Some are musical. Some are good with nature. Hey, everyone’s a genius at something! This speculative model of the mind uses the word “intelligence” in such an elastic manner that it could describe almost any aptitude. And it rests on very little tangible research that either points to its existence or its usefulness as a theory. This hasn’t stopped a million websites trying to sell methods of magically assessing your intelligences.

Three-part lessons
Back in the days of England’s national literacy and numeracy strategies, a fairly cautious piece of research suggested that one feature of some
effective lessons was that they were often split into introductory, main and plenary segments, composed of sections that built upon one another. A frantic profession seized upon this guidance and deified it, until almost every school used the three-part structure. But they didn’t know why and neither did the generations of teachers and trainers who perpetuated the dogma.

Red ink implies negativity
Oh, really? Someone had better tell Santa. And Coca-Cola. No research backs this up.

Tom Bennett is author of Teacher Proof and director of the ResearchED conference.

For more information, visit                           www.workingoutwhatworks.com

References
Coffield, F, Moseley, D, Hall, E et al (2004) Should We Be Using Learning Styles? What research has to say to practice, Learning and Skills
Research Centre
Arter, J A and Jenkins, J R (1979) “Differential diagnosis. prescriptive teaching: a critical appraisal”, Review of Educational Research, 49/4: 517-55

Avoid the Foo Foo

a Foo Foo End Banner

That is all:

Avoid the Foo Foo.

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Monday Morning Quarter PACT #28

Take a Quarter Hour or Less

To develop your ability to adopt and adapt the PACT Processes for ISD – to meet your Requirements and Constraints.

For Performance Improvement and positive ROI when properly targeted.

Slide1

D7- MCD – Development Kick-Off

Video Short D7- MCD – Development Kick-Off

Reminder – this is just one video of a collection of over 55 free “School of PACT” videos, that in combination with free books, articles, presentations and for fee books intends to enable the practice of performance-based Instructional Systems Design. To improve Performance Competence at the worker level, the work level, and the workplace level. For Individual, Process and Organizational performance improvement.

You may view them in sequence – or bounce around to eventually do just some or all of them.

See the Resource Tab or The Pursuing Performance Blog and the EPPIC Web Site for additional free resources – here.

See the entire School of PACT video collection Index – here.

What is PACT?

PACT is performance-based ISD… at 3 levels… with common analysis and project management approaches, tools and techniques… to speed the ISD process… to be effective while being efficient…

PACT Logo w 5 Methodologies 2

Other PACT Resources

See all of the EPPIC Videos on YouTube – here.

Books for free – here.

Books for sale – here.

Slide3

This MMQP Series

This Blog series will post each Monday at 8 am east coast time (USA).

Gopher-perched-transparent

Go for it – here – Monday Mornings!

Why PACT?

The benefits?

Slide40

Proven

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Aiding Informal Learning : An Alaskan Example from 1994

Updated 11/21/2014.

Alaska 1994

I came across this job aid in 1994 on break from our project to create a couple thousand Performance Tests for a Qualification/Certification system for 20-some technician groups on the Alyeska Pipeline. I use to have a poster like the one in the photo on the wall of my offices – but that was a long time ago.

TBT.

We did 2 large projects in Alaska at SWI – Svenson & Wallace Inc. – the first in 1987 and the second in 1994 – at Prudhoe Bay, and then on the pipeline itself.

Each developed over 2000 Performance Tests for approximately 20 job audiences – all tied to a Pay Progression Program – so it had everybody’s attention. So getting them to the collaboration table was easy – so to speak.  But getting over their distrust (we were the third attempt in 1987) of those impacted and those administrating the final “system” was tricky.

But – using our standard Group Process and adapting our CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design methods and tools – we were so successful in 1987 – that our client’s neighbors – running the pipeline from Prudhoe Bay at the top of the North Slope in the Arctic Circle – to Valdez just east of Anchorage if you don’t count the landscape in the way – they wanted one too. And so in 1994 we took that effort on.

Alaska Map

The modified CAD approach was used to scope out all of the Performance Tests – driven by Performance Models and Enabler Matrices – that led to an MCD-like (ADDIE-like) approach to quick development of the 2000+ Performance Tests in collaboration with designated Master Performers.

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The client thought that after the modified approach – they would “apply” the tests – and then use the failure data to determine where to invest in a modular curriculum (20 Paths worth of content to develop – much of it sharable).

But since the tests led to pay increases – it had everyone’s attention – being tied to their wallets.

Everyone did what was necessary to master the Performance – much of it quite complex – and most passed the tests using only Informal, Learner-centered, Performance-driven (as the Tests were shared – and open book) learning. No formal training. Only their experience, and their network of co-workers, and the manufactures’ documents.

So – no follow-on CAD work for Guy. Which is OK, because the point has never been Instruction/ Training/ Learning/ Knowledge Management. It’s always been about the Performance.

IMO.

Sharing

Here below is a book that my partner, Ray Svenson, and I later wrote about the approach and systems/ processes structure we used – besides just creating the Performance Tests. See the nine sub-systems in the cover below.

Available as a free PDF or as a paperback for $20.

Performance-based Employee Qualification/ Certification Systems (2007) – as a Paperback

Paperback $20

Note: this 2007 book is also available as a FREE 226 page PDF – here.

But – what’s the cost of your printing and binding? 

The Arctic Circle in the Winter

Video of Prudhoe Bay facilities in 1987…

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ASQ Asks About Quality Leaders and Leadership Training

This month, ASQ CEO, Bill Troy asks his assembled group of bloggers, the ASQ Influential Voices group, 2 questions in this latest post. Here is his post:

Here at ASQ we’ve introduced a powerful idea that I think can and should help shape our future.

The idea is this: Every quality professional, a leader.

Like a lot of fundamentally important concepts, this sounds simple and straightforward but needs to be thought out a bit.  In short, we want, need, and expect every one of our members—and indeed,  every person in the quality community—to grow and develop as leaders.

We at ASQ understand and endorse this idea and accept the implicit responsibility to help our members do just that.  You may hear much about leadership, but some—or even many—quality professionals don’t get opportunities to participate in leadership training. For a lot of ASQ members, I am convinced that whatever we provide may be the only leadership training they get.

So what is this connection between leadership and quality, and why is it so important?  Simply put, the quality professional, wherever he or she may be and at whatever level of management, must be a leader to be effective.  The quality professional at work somewhere in the quality field is not an artist alone at the canvas. That professional is bringing insight, tools, principles, and personal example to someone—to some crew, team, or section; to a business unit; or to something even bigger, such as a hospital, a federal agency, or a school system.

This task is going to be bigger than the sole person, perhaps much bigger.  It will involve other people, with all of their complexities, strengths, weaknesses, hopes, and fears.  So whatever our quality professional is working on, it is going to take leadership to get the job done.

Some have made the case recently that quality professionals lack the business skills needed to connect with the C-suite. Others note that quality professionals sometimes lack the “soft skills” needed to make the case for quality outside the quality department. Leadership encompasses all of the above. Business savvy, people skills, and decisive action all are required to get results in the world.

Now I want to hear from you. Do you think you are a quality leader? What kind of leadership training did you receive and was it enough?

So Bill’s 2 questions are:

  • Do you think you are a quality leader?
  • What kind of leadership training did you receive and was it enough?

I Am Tempted To Ask Why 5 Times

But seriously: What is meant by the word Leader?

For there are many types of Leader – IMO. Here is my made-up-in-the-moment two axis elements for a 2 x 2 matrix:

Action Leader, such as a Sargent leading his troops into battle, or a Marketing staff member leading the New Product Development Team of cross-functional representatives on the assigned task in the overall NPD plan? Real time baby.

Thought Leader, such as those who influence the philosophies and practices of others through their shared thoughts on concepts, models, methods, tools and techniques. Reflective time baby.

I think the Quality effort needs both. IMO.

And just as the gods did not create all men and women to swing from both sides of the plate equally (a baseball metaphor), not all men and women need to be “lefties at the plate” too when that is needed. That’s why the team has various types of diversity. Including the loud – and the quiet – types of action and thought Leaders – and Members.

But First: Why Must Everyone Become a Leader?

Must they?

I’ve been dealing with things like this since the early 1980s when management wanted to “train” their people to be Team Members. Everyone a Team Member. Everyone on a Team. Acting like Team Members. Acting all alike … as if that would solve anything.

But…

What if they don’t want to?

What if they just want to do their job and go home without the imagined and real burdens of being a Team Member or of being a Leader? What if the rewards don’t balance out with the costs – to personal time and/or family life or whatever?

What if they are incapable?

What if the uphill climb represents so much pain without enough gain – pain AND gain being in the eyes of the beholder – that THEY DON’T SEE ENOUGH R for their I?

What then?

Engage them more???

I say: leave people alone, yet inspire them to aspire, enable them to accomplish, and then recognize and reward them as they each would wish.

But don’t coerce them. Ever.

And if someday they change their aspirations ….

An Aside: A Simple Model for Instruction – Training – Learning – Development

Slide1

 

Back to the 2 questions.

Do you think you are a quality leader?

Yes – and no.

I’m an Action Leader on most of my consultant engagements, as I plan and lead teams to execute the plan (and adjust as needed). My professional role is different than most, being an external consultant since 1982. I’ve had that role on hundreds of engagements over 32 years.

I’m a Thought Leader in that I publish (using both old school and new school means) and … people read, review and respond. And I’m hired to bring in new thoughts and new ways of approaching “Training” to impact Performance – which often means not doing Training alone, but doing something-else, or several something-elses … and then Training maybe only using Job Aids. Or…

Process re-Design anyone?

What kind of leadership training did you receive and was it enough?

No Formal Training for me – other than the Training I have Designed and Developed for clients. So mostly it’s been via Informal Means – reading others’ thoughts, listening to others … watching others and then reflecting on that in both the near and far term.

Was it enough?

Hmm. That’s really for others to assess.

But the standard answer – “never enough” – needs to be balanced with specifying “what kind of training” are we talking about here?

  • Classroom?
  • Coached On-the-Job (OJT)?
  • E-Learning?

Each can have a role in the development – the training – effort.

But any one means alone is not ever enough – no matter how much.

Never.

Let’s Help Both People and Their Enterprises Succeed

But let’s not force everyone into a role that they would not prefer.

Let’s “enable” – and “encourage” – but not “expect” in a too demanding manner.

Respectfully.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

# # #

Monday Morning Quarter PACT #27

Take a Quarter Hour or Less

To develop your ability to adopt and adapt the PACT Processes for ISD – to meet your Requirements and Constraints.

For Performance Improvement and positive ROI when properly targeted.

Slide1

D6- MCD – Focus: Activity Spec

Video Short D6- MCD – Focus: Activity Spec

Reminder – this is just one video of a collection of over 55 free “School of PACT” videos, that in combination with free books, articles, presentations and for fee books intends to enable the practice of performance-based Instructional Systems Design. To improve Performance Competence at the worker level, the work level, and the workplace level. For Individual, Process and Organizational performance improvement.

You may view them in sequence – or bounce around to eventually do just some or all of them.

See the Resource Tab or The Pursuing Performance Blog and the EPPIC Web Site for additional free resources – here.

See the entire School of PACT video collection Index – here.

What is PACT?

PACT is performance-based ISD… at 3 levels… with common analysis and project management approaches, tools and techniques… to speed the ISD process… to be effective while being efficient…

PACT Logo w 5 Methodologies 2

Other PACT Resources

See all of the EPPIC Videos on YouTube – here.

Books for free – here.

Books for sale – here.

Slide3

This MMQP Series

This Blog series will post each Monday at 8 am east coast time (USA).

Gopher-perched-transparent

Go for it – here – Monday Mornings!

Why PACT?

The benefits?

Slide40

Proven

# # #

Part 13 of 12 – My 12 Boxes for Leveraging Enterprise Process Performance Improvement

Review & Reflection

This is part 13 of 12.

Reflect Back to The Big Picture of EPPI’s Performance Enablers

Here are the 12 Boxes of the EPPI approach … in non-Box form …

…start on the left with the Process itself… and then on to the enablers… of Process Performance…

EPPI Fishbone v2012 - 1- The Process

Frames … Boxes … Buckets … Accomplishments … Areas of Performance … Key Results Areas … Major Duties … Responsibilities …. whatever ….

Is there a Process? Is it adhered to? If not, why not?

Are any of the Enablers of the Process inadequate in terms of quantity, quality, cost or timeliness?

Process? Enablers?

A Systems View

It’s complex. It’s a System.

Within a System of course….

And that too is within a System.

Individual Enablers May Or May Not Be Key

The appropriate items in any category of Enabler – are just one set of enablers – of many – that are required to support or enable a Process or set of Processes.

And it’s important to understand the difference between all of the enabler data and which of it is key data – that are the key that really enable and impact Performance Competence.

And what’s really critical versus necessary versus superfluous.

And what is your definition of Performance Competence – or the end goal – and then … how do you measure that?

My defintion…

Slide6

How you measure that is unique to each situation – except for the bottom line, accepted financial metrics related to Return on Equity (ROE), and/or return on net assets (RONA), etc., etc. Business measures.

The bigger picture…

Rocking Review Around the EPPI 12 Box Model Clockwise

Besides “The Process” itself – there are the 2 types of Enablers.

EPPI Fishbone v2012 - 1- The Process

12 items, boxes, frames, Major Duties, areas, etc., etc.

In my view – in my analysis efforts – I would always start with the Process.

Is there a Process – and is it adequate to the demands of all of the Stakeholders – including but beyond THE CUSTOMER(s). And their Customers and other stakeholders.

Here is my model for Stakeholders – for you to adopt or adapt as needed…

Stakeholder Hierachy Example 1

The enablers are either adequate or inadequate in the context of the needs/requirements of the Process. So start there.

What is the Process and what are its Requirements – what enables it?

And are those enablers adequate?

In Rocket Science it would be the following for the EPPI Data & Information category/box:

  • the Rocket Ship also needs a flight plan, instrument data, technical,blueprints, wiring diagrams, computer systems instructions, etc., etc.

Are those Enablers adequate?

The Enablers

Start with the Process itself and it’s Gaps – and then, as needed, look to the Process Enablers – and any Gaps there.

The Enablers are again of two types:

  1. Human
  2. Environmental

And…

The Process View and the Enabler Views I propose here are intended to be used in a scalable manner, for looking at what is necessary at the following levels of Enterprise Performance …

  1. Worker - a.k.a: Individual, and/or the…
  2. Work - a.k.a: Process, and/or the…
  3. Workplace - a.k.a: Organization-Enterprise, and/or the…
  4. World - a.k.a: Mega-Social Responsibility

Human Assets and Human Asset Management Systems

The Human Assets are:

  • Awareness, knowledge, skills
  • Physical attributes
  • Psychological attributes
  • Intellectual attributes
  • Values

Awareness, knowledge, and skills – come in many types and varieties. Further complicating the performance context/ situation, one performer might need to be only aware of what other performers need to know much more about, while yet another group of performers may need to have an actual skill level.

Physical attributes – include “items” such as the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell; as well as height, weight, strength, endurance, etc.

Psychological attributes – include “items” such as positive attitude, aggressiveness, risk taking, cautiousness, detail orientation, big picture orientation, etc. Many Models exist.

Intellectual attributes – can include “items” such as conceptual thinking, concrete thinking, strategic thinking, process thinking, etc.

Values – can include such “items” as customer satisfaction orientation, teamwork, diversity, fairness, honesty, work ethic, family, etc.

The HAMS – the Human Asset Management Systems “provision” these to the Processes as needed – adequately, or not.

The HAMS are covered after this next section.

Environmental Assets and Environmental Asset Management Systems

And the Environmental Assets include:

  • Information/ data
  • Tools/ equipment
  • Materials/ supplies
  • Facilities/ grounds
  • Budget/ headcount
  • Consequences (+/ –)

Data & Information – includes all of the work orders and instructions, the policies/procedures, and all data/information needed to enable job holders to perform.

Materials & Supplies – provide all of the materials and supplies needed to enable job performance.

Tools & Equipment – provide the tools, equipment, machinery, and vehicles needed to enable performers to perform at a level of mastery.

Facilities & Grounds – provide the buildings, grounds, facilities and utilities for communications/power/water/and so on, as needed to enable performance.

Financial Systems – provide the capital and expense budgets, and the headcount budgets to management, needed to enable and support job holders in performing.

Culture & Consequences – provide and reinforce the enterprise cultural norms, and all of the management reinforcements (and extinguishments) needed to encourage (or discourage) performance.

The EAMS – the Environmental Asset Management Systems “provision” these to the Processes as needed – adequately, or not.

The EAMS and the HAMS are covered in this next section.

And Then What? What About the Enabler Provisioning Systems?

And then after determining which of the Enablers are in need of attention – I use the following model to determine how “these things” happen – and where and who – in my client organization.

Here are the Provisioning Systems mentioned earlier – the HAMS and the EAMS …

I use this next model as a tool/template to determine who actual “owns” or “co-owns” or “doesn’t own but should” – the roles and responsibilities for Provisioning the right “stuff” to the right processes at the right time, cost and quality …

The EPPI HAMS and EAMS Model

“Stuff” being the HA – Human Assets and the EA Environmental Assets REQUIRED. By the Processes.

Nothing more. Nothing less.

Lean.

These Enabler Provisioning Systems – which don’t look like this as structured in the graphic below – but perhaps this frame might help you determine who the Provisioners of Enabling Assets – may be at the root of any Gaps in the key Value Stream Processes or in the Enabling Processes.

Next one would estimate the Costs of Non-Compliance to see if it’s a Big Enough Deal – and as appropriate – the Costs of Compliance – and then one can make a wise or foolish Business Decision – from an ROI viewpoint.

Should the gaps in the enablers be addressed?

Where does this – or these kind of things – happen in the Enterprise? What’s the Enterprise Model for EAMS and HAMS? Who “owns” the responsibility for this/these?

Is it centralized, or distributed, or some mix (appropriate or not)? Is it in “enough control” with tolerable variability – or does some or all of it need to be “tightened up?”

Next Month

Next Month you can take a break from all this EPPI stuff.

Or you can read my book:

Slide21

Or you can read the entire 6-Pack:

Slide4

For more info on the books above – see the Resource tab or go to Amazon – here.

The Big Picture of EPPI – for Performance Improvement 

Slide27

It’s not about Learning – even in a Learning Organization. It’s about Performance.

Focus on Performance – and Enable That.

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