Categorisation cults

I have always been uncomfortable with the categorisation of students. Placing students into boxes because we think they are 'visual learners' or identify themselves as 'theorists' or 'activists' is not only ignorant, it's also doing a disservice to the learners we are labelling. All students should receive the best possible education with varied experiences regardless of what kind of 'learning style' we might assume describes them.

Learning styles theories are not the only myth some teachers are fooled into adopting. The Cult of Categorisation is very strong because it adopts ideas that are convenient. It extends to generational distinctions. There are many versions of this, depending on what kind of drugs people have been taking. Suggesting that people behave differently depending on when they were born is just as fallacious as pigeon holing students in learning styles, and invites mucho trouble.

Consider the notion of 'millennials' - who are categorized as having been born in the two decades before the turn of the last century.  Millennials apparently, are technologically savvy, civicly conscious, nomadic, impatient, multi-tasking and natural team workers. Oh yeah? Well so are many other people I have encountered who were not born between 1980 and 2000. Did the millennial fairy come along in her flying car and sprinkle these special people with some sort of magic dust to make them different? Clearly not, because there's no such thing as flying cars. We might as well return to the dark ages when people still believed there were dragons, unicorns and digital natives.

Anyway, here's the reason for this blog post: I was invited to record a short piece to camera about millennials (and digital natives) when I was in Barcelona last year. The result is below, watch out for the most excellent typo!

Photo from Pixabay

Creative Commons License
Categorisation cults by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


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