Mind, Brain, and Education

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Vol 11 (4 Issues in 2017)
Edited by: Editor-in-Chief: Pat Levitt
Print ISSN: 1751-2271 Online ISSN: 1751-228X
Impact Factor: 1.271

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Education, Law & Society, Wiley-Blackwell

August 19, 2013

No Such Thing as Average? The Science of the Individual

From the class room teaching to cockpit training, education is often built around assumptions that there is an average student, or an average pilot. Writing in Mind, Brain and Education, author Todd Rose and his team outlines ‘the Science of the individual’ which focuses on individual growth patterns and building new tools to analyze them.

“Individuals behave, learn, and develop in distinctive ways, showing patterns of variability that are not captured by models based on statistical averages,” said Todd Rose. “Individuals grow along different pathways and we need to stop thinking in terms of averages or means and instead think in terms of individualized growth analyses for learning.”

The authors use examples from fields as diverse as education and medicine to demonstrate how starting with individual variability, not statistical averages, helped researchers discover two sources of ordered variability—pathways and contexts—that have implications for theory, research, and practice in multiple disciplines.