The Learning Retention Pyramid is included in our 287 CITW training slides, and it’s a visual that I’ve used to facilitate a number of coaching conversations. There seem to be many visuals and representations of this pyramid or cone of retention, all looking something like this:
I was looking for some more information on this and guess what, I found a significant online footprint of educators who report that the pyramid is based on bogus data and highly corrupted. In other words, it’s another EdMyth. Here are a couple sources to this effect:
The gist here is that the pyramid is a misused appropriation of Edgar Dale’s “Cone of Experience” that dates back to 1946. Apparently many of Dale’s cautions about the cone have not been heeded. The ed-bloggers linked above assert that “there is no body of research that supports the data presented in the many forms of the retention chart.”
Any thoughts here? Should the pyramid be in our CITW training? What other ways can we help teachers with lesson/unit design that incorporates evidence based instruction?