The Constantly Evolving Educational Labels
Over 20 years ago, when I first began working and consulting nationally with teachers to implement brain-based, best practice teaching strategies in classrooms, the terms we used were much different than those we use today. We’ve gone from “Learning Styles” and “Multiple Intelligences” to “Differentiated Instruction.” We now have brain-based research to back up much of the strategies some of us have used for decades. We’ve seen and heard the terms, “Brain-Based Learning” or “Whole Brain Learning.” Now we are hearing and seeing terms like “Neuro-diversity.” We’ve gone from “Mainstreaming” to “Inclusion.” Then there’s “Response To Intervention” and, in at least one state in the union, special education teachers have been re-designated as “Intervention Specialists.” Today, we are hearing much about “Universal Design for Learning” and we now have the massive research analysis by Dr. John Hattie referenced in “Visible Learning.”
The Shocking Truth
At the heart of all these theories, ideas, and different classifications, regardless of the labels, what we’re really talking about is adjusting our teaching to respect the way our students learn. It’s about employing strategies that reach students, that have been proven to work through research and resulting data analysis, and then using that information to teach so that all students can achieve to their highest potential. Ultimately, it is about applying what I like to refer to as Really Terrific Instruction (See what I did there?).
Honor Your Students’ Learning Preferences (And make your teaching even more amazing!)
To honor all the changes that we’ve seen over the years, I’m highlighting five of my “12 Ways” articles that offer timeless strategies on how to teach all students, no matter what labels you, your school, or your state are currently using. Even though the language changes, and the framework in which they are presented may be “upgraded” and “fine tuned,” these are practical, no-nonsense, research-based strategies that help show us how to teach all students.
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