chapter  1
16 Pages

Setting the Scene: The Journey toward a Paradigm Shift

BySTEPHEN RAYNER, EVA COOLS

Moreover, to realize this aim, we agreed from the outset to observe one of the founding principles of ELSIN and deliberately seek to bring established and new researchers together in an effort to further nurture synergy and knowledge creation in the research community. A cursory glance at the various contributors to this book will confi rm the presence of new researchers together with well-known leading researchers in the fi eld (see Appendix 1A to this chapter). Original pioneering work in style, for example, is widely associated with David Kolb, Richard Boyatzis, Robert Sternberg, Lifang Zhang, Jan Vermunt, and Rita Dunn. The mix of more recently established researchers adds new perspective and together with more established scholars deepens our understanding of the knowledge domain. Finally, it is

useful in this respect to take a historical perspective and acknowledge the work of these leading researchers over a fi fty-year period. In particular, we would like to celebrate the work of a colleague, Rita Dunn, who has recently died. Indeed, the work of ‘Dunn and Dunn’ has played an infl uential and central part for more than fi fty years in developing the fi eld. Since what appears to have been a busy and exciting time in the days of the seminal North American Secondary School Project led by James Keefe (1985), to continuing work and development of their learning style model at St John’s University, New York, during the latter part of the 20th century, Rita Dunn enthusiastically, energetically, and conscientiously advanced the theory and implementation of style-led curriculum differentiation in the work of schools and colleges in the US and later across the globe. She also presented a memorable keynote lecture at the ELSIN conference in 2003, stirring vigorous debate and adding to the growing need for further understanding and development of style theory and its application in learning and teaching across the workplace. It truly goes without saying that her death is a loss to the fi eld and that the chapter co-written with Andrea Honigsfeld for this book is probably one of the last pieces of work to be completed by Rita. We are honored to include it in this book.