Originally meant as a reflection on the teaching of "rhetoric" as an academic discipline, this blog has shifted towards the rhetoric of all creative writing and, to a lesser extent, digital media. One interest is the power of stage and screen(s) to persuade audiences. Other topics within rhetoric might appear occasionally.
Despite earlier research in support of "manipulatives," such as blocks in the teaching of mathematics, recent research suggests self-reported success might be something else: teachers found activities more "fun," according to a 2006 Georgetown University study. Several other reports found students taught with a mix of lectures and worksheets did better in math. A 2001 study by the University of Chicago reached a similar conclusion, studying at-risk students placed in an "innovative" math program with hands-on activities. The students fell even further behind their peers.
You have to wonder why we keep trying to improve and innovate. We change so often that students must suffer intellectual whiplash trying to keep up with changes in teaching methods.