Another dot in the blogosphere?

Fools and charlatans

Posted on: December 28, 2021

It has been said that there is a fool born every minute. There might be a similar reproduction rate for charlatans.

Recently, I received a snail mail flyer from one such charlatan, an “enrichment” centre. How do I know that it was a charlatan? It offered, amongst other things, the following: 

I share partial screenshots of the flyer that featured the debunked theory of learning styles and curriculum booklets supposedly enabled by augmented reality (AR).

This set of links and my summary are enough authority on why learning styles are a myth. I will say no more because they are a waste of time and energy.

The use of AR is sneakily seductive because even “highly engaged parents” will a) not know what exactly that means, and b) be fooled by bells and whistles. 

I would wager that most parents have not heard of frameworks like TPACK by Mishra and Kohler (2006) (PDF from Mishra) or about Kirshner et al’s (2004) educational affordances of technology. If they did, they might realise that the pedagogy has not caught up with the technological hype.

Someone from the “enrichment” centre might know of these frameworks. But they ignore critical practice and educational research in favour of distraction with a new and shiny object.

Extraneous tuition and “enrichment” are already rooted as shadow schools in Singapore, so parents are willing to pay for them. There is a saying that a fool and his money are soon parted. I can only hope that more parents engage with knowledge of critical practice and rigorous research. They and their kids will be richer for it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Usage policy

%d bloggers like this: