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Education Bookcast

May 11, 2020

I'm just about to do another episode where I talk about a scientific article on this very topic, criticising the approach. I thought it only fair to see it from the side of the proponents as well.

Unfortunately, this book is something of a disappointment. There are many minor annoyances early on such as inconsistent use of terminology and a lack of back-up to some claims. But there are much greater issues than that.

For one thing, the authors seem to have difficulty defining the concept, and certainly find it hard to do so succinctly. This is not a good sign.

The thing that really strikes me, though, is how the central idea of the book is not very useful at all. It proposes a way in which we can view any lesson or educational experience from various perspectives, by considering aspects of the experience (such as which senses are being used, and how the learner responds emotionally). The trouble is, this only leads to a combinatorical explosion - there are so many possibilities, but which possibilities are good? So many perspectives, but which ones are useful? A real expert focuses on providing the right way of thinking about a situation, not on all the different ways you can view a situation.

Ultimately I find that there is little that is useful here. I still wanted to talk about the book a bit in order to be clear about what my expectations are, and why this book doesn't meet them.

Enjoy the episode.