'Rekindling the spark': Teachers' experiences of 'accelerative learning'

Scott Poynting, Greg Noble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

SEVERAL teacher training packages called 'Accelerative Learning' (AL) have recently attracted widespread support among teachers in Australian schools. AL purports to expound a 'brain theory', covering various 'learning styles'. This project investigated the experience of teachers who were attracted by AL. The authors surveyed AL texts, conducted participant observation in AL training, and interviewed AL proponents including 24 teachers at three Western Sydney secondary schools. We found a sense of revitalisation for teachers undertaking AL. While the brain theory of AL resonates with teachers' 'scientific' training, its formulaic solutions deal with the craft aspect of teaching. Teachers are seeking immediately practical solutions to the crisis they are experiencing with intensification of their work. Appearing to 'cater to' learners overlooked in 'conventional' teaching, AL's formulas fix differences in cultures of learning into individual, biological ones - reinforcing social inequalities. Nevertheless an important grain of good sense can be identified in teachers' common sense of AL, in its returning of schools' attention to pedagogy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-47
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Journal of Education
Volume42
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 1998

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