Saturday, November 16, 2013

Learning Styles - More Myth than Truth

The following is copied from Teaching High School Psychology Web Blog: http://teachinghighschoolpsychology.blogspot.com/2013/10/learning-styles-myth.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FFcTgv+%28Teaching+High+School+Psychology%29

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2013
Learning Styles: Myth? I'm interested in hearing how teachers and administrators in your district talk and think about "learning styles." I remember learning learning style "theory" during staff development workshops as a young teacher, and the main impact was that I felt guilty for not diligently including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic experiences in my lessons.

So I was glad to read Daniel Willingham's work on "debunking" what he calls the "learning styles myth." It turns out there really isn't much empirical evidence that learning styles exist or impact learning (they might be learning "preferences"). Willingham has been dedicated to adding some science to the discussion of "learning styles" for quite a while and created many resources that are usable by many audience. The FAQ document linked to below is a good overall summary of his thinking:

Learning Style FAQ http://www.danielwillingham.com/learning-styles-faq.html

More recently, Howard Gardner chimed in to try to clarify how his multiple intelligences theory is different form "learning styles," and how people misinterpret his theory too. Howard Gardner: 'Multiple Intelligences' are not 'learning styles' http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/10/16/howard-gardner-multiple-intelligences-are-not-learning-styles/

Thoughts from Cade Resnick - The original idea of learning styles gave a reason to explain behavior. The more Neuroscience arrives into the world of Psychology and understands human interaction, the more we understand of learning styles. I believe it is in the best interest of educators world wide to realise that every student is not a learning style the same way no 1 person is just one of 5 senses. We know more now and now we need to utilize this new knowledge to educate as such. Thanks for listening.

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