Bad ideas in teaching are like monsters in horror movies: No matter how many times you kill them, they don’t stay dead. That is, when you can kill them at all.
Consider “learning styles.” Cognitive scientists have searched in vain for evidence to support the common belief that one child is a visual learner, another auditory, while a third learns best through a hands-on, “kinesthetic” approach. Neither is there any reason to believe children are “right-brained” or “left-brained,” or use only 10 percent of their brain. Education is sloppy with demonstrably mistaken beliefs that warp classroom practice to children’s detriment, particularly in the rock-bottom basic task of public education: teaching children to read.