Myths, semi-myths etc.

I bought Clark Quinn’s new book about training myths, semi-myths and misconceptions, and I can whole-heartedly recommend this exciting, in-depth, clinical and precise work.

Despite I am one who hopes and believes that there might

“eventually be an effective learning style instrument and an associated solution that will work.” (Kindle-Position426)

Despite? Or rather: because. I think the new book will help to make the discussion much more factual. If my understanding is correct, the book does make a difference between “what is legitimate, what is unproven, and what has been thoroughly debunked.” (Kindle-Position211)

These three categories do not coincide with myths, semi-myths, and misconceptions. And the myth of learning styles (adaptation) belongs to the ‘unproven’ category, see the respective “What the evidence says” section.

Similarly, I am one who has great fondness for McGilchrist’s identification of the two basic modes of operations of the brain — which he suspects to coincide with the hemispheres. I think the hemisphere question is not important, but the difference is important — the difference and interplay between the flexors and extensors of the mind, so to speak.

And of course, I would not try to defend the bold claim which is being debunked in the new book: “The claim: People can be characterized by their relative proportion of left- and right-brain capabilities.” (Kindle-Positions765-766)

But neither would I try to deny all these possible modes and styles differences. My suspicion about why one would try to deny them is as follows:

For some, the very idea that there are different modes, may be unsettling. The complacency that there is just one right way (and of course this is mine) may be threatened. Furthermore, the notion of two hemispheres suggests that the two modes are equitable, i.e., this threatens the superiority of the “left hemisphere” mode . (Copied from

So I welcome the sober-minded discussion.

Update 2020-09-04: A balanced post by Lilia Efimova points to the long term: “As a researcher living in a fast-changing world I am also very much aware of the limits of any research in predicting what methods and techniques (±directions of pushing neuroplasticity with instructional design) would benefit learners in the long term.”

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