Issue 7, 9/19/11 – Learning Syles; The Myth of Learning Styles
TomMcDonald’s editorial addition: Although there is wide practice of and belief in learning styles as an effective way to advance individual student performance, there is no research validating the effectiveness of learning styles. At a time where advancing individual learning outcomes is critical, why would we choose to chase an unproven learning methodology?
Below you will find all that I have come across on learning styles, along with research proven learning theories and methodologies. My hope is that all of this information can positively impact your individual learning outcomes. Tom
Learning Styles: The Enduring Appeal of ‘Learning Styles’
Individualism is the dominant value system in Western cultures and, as such, it affects the conduct of every aspect of human endeavour, including education. One of the most enduring effects on education has been the search for individual differences that can explain and predict variation in student achievement, with the hope that pedagogical methods can be designed that will capitalise on these. ‘Learning styles’ remain a popular choice for filling this role and the number of models of learning styles on offer continues to proliferate. Research conducted over the last 40 years has failed to show that individual attributes can be used to guide effective teaching practice. That ‘learning styles’ theory appeals to the underlying culture’s model of the person ensures the theory’s continued survival, despite the evidence against its utility. Rather than being a harmless fad, learning styles theory perpetuates the very stereotyping and harmful teaching practices it is said to combat.
Scott, Catherine (2010) “The enduring appeal of ‘learning styles’,” Australian Journal of Education: Vol. 54: Iss. 1, Article 1.
Available at: http://research.acer.edu.au/aje/vol54/iss1/1 (Currently not available online)