ERIC Number: EJ790160
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
The Learning Pyramid: Does It Point Teachers in the Right Direction?
Lalley, James P.; Miller, Robert H.
Education, v128 n1 p64-79 Fall 2007
This paper raises serious questions about the reliability of the learning pyramid as a guide to retention among students. The pyramid suggests that certain teaching methods are connected with a corresponding hierarchy of student retention. No specific credible research was uncovered to support the pyramid, which is loosely associated with the theory proposed by the well-respected researcher, Edgar Dale. Dale is credited with creating the Cone of Experience in 1946. The Cone was designed to represent the importance of altering teaching methods in relation to student background knowledge: it suggests a continuum of methods not a hierarchy. While no credible research was uncovered to support the pyramid, clear research on retention was discovered regarding the importance of each of the pyramid levels: each of the methods identified by the pyramid resulted in retention, with none being consistently superior to the others and all being effective in certain contexts. A key conclusion from the literature reviewed rests with the critical importance of the teacher as a knowledgeable decision maker for choosing instructional methods. (Contains 3 figures.)
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Experiential Learning, Teacher Role, Abstract Reasoning, Educational Theories, Discovery Learning, Retention (Psychology)
Project Innovation, Inc. P.O. Box 8508 Spring Hill Station, Mobile, AL 36689-0508. Tel: 251-343-1878; Fax: 251-343-1878; Web site: http://www.projectinnovation.biz/education.html
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A