Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Monday, February 26, 2018 03:21:31 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Are learning styles a myth?

photo by

By
12th-Feb-2017       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Anna Weinstein :
What kind of learner are you?
If you ask most adults, they'll tell you-"I'm a visual learner," "Definitely an auditory learner," "A kinesthetic learner for sure." In fact, this general understanding of how people learn is so ingrained in public perception that many parents even apply their understanding to their children. For example, "Tommy isn't an auditory learner because when I tell him to do something, he doesn't listen, but when I display a sticker chart on the wall, he responds. He must be a visual learner."
Though this example might make intuitive sense, it doesn't tell the whole story. According to Dr. James Witte, Auburn University Associate Professor of Adult Education, there are several types of learning styles, including: cognitive (how we think about learning), affective (how we feel about learning), and perceptual (how we perceive our environment and how it relates to learning). When we talk about someone being a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner, we're talking about the perceptual learning style.
In fact, according to Witte, there are four other perceptual modalities: print (seeing written words); interactive (verbalization); haptic (sense of touch or grasp); and olfactory (sense of smell and taste). Witte, who established the Institute for Learning Styles Research Journal in 2006, explains that perceptual learning has to do with the five senses and the way in which people extract information from their surroundings.
"There's nothing restrictive about a learning style," Witte says. "Just because you prefer to read for informative purposes doesn't mean you can't learn through lecture." This is where many people get it wrong, Witte explains. It's not that someone is specifically one type of learner over another; it's that individuals have preferred learning styles.
Witte does not advocate testing perceptual modalities with children, however. "You have to read over and over again before you decide you like reading," Witte says. "I'm not sure that the child has sufficient neural network based on repetition to legitimately establish a modality preference. If a kid is just learning to read, why would you expect him to have a preference for reading?"
So is there such a thing as a kinesthetic learner (a person who learns best when involving the whole body)? Many parents have been told or have deduced that their energetic child who is constantly in motion, who must be "doing" at all times, is a kinesthetic learner. Witte would tend to agree that these children might be kinesthetic learners, though he admits that there's still a lack of evidence to demonstrate this with certainty. "I'm a very, very conservative researcher," Witte says. "I believe the learning styles investigation involving perceptual modalities are primary designed for adults. But even if we look at our high school students, if you are wiggling in your seat and showing a lack of attention, the odds are that you will not be identified as a ready-for-college student. And yet all the student wants to do is to learn by doing! It's amazing what students can produce if we can meet that kinesthetic need."
Witte's conservative approach to research is likely regarded as appropriate in the fields of education and educational psychology, particularly given the ongoing debate about whether there's any evidence that perceptual modalities and learning styles exist.
Dr. Daniel Willingham, Professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Virginia, says "kinesthetic learners don't exist, and learning styles don't exist." Willingham explains that the notion of children learning differently (that some learn better if you read a story aloud, act out a story, etc.) is just a prediction. "It's been tested over and over again, and no one can find evidence that it's true," Willingham says. "The idea moved into public consciousness, and in a way it's perplexing. There are some ideas that are just sort of self-sustaining."
It's understandable, though, why this particular idea is self-sustaining. The Dunn-Dunn Learning Styles model is one of the more popular learning styles models, developed in 1967, and widely used U.S. schools. The model incorporates the following premises:
Everyone has strengths, but different people have different strengths.
Most individuals can learn.
Instructional environments, resources, and approaches respond to diversified strengths.
Individual instructional preferences exist and can be measured reliably.
Given responsive environments, students attain statistically higher achievement and aptitude test scores in matched, rather than mismatched treatments.
Most teachers can learn to use learning styles as a cornerstone of their instruction.
Many students can learn to capitalize on their learning style strengths.
This model, though researched in more than 90 higher education institutions across the United Stated, has its share of criticism. Dr. Frank Coffield, Professor of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, assessed the Dunn-Dunn model along with other learning style models and came to the following conclusion, detailed in his report "Should We Be Using Learning Styles? What Research Has to Say to Practice." "Despite a large and evolving research program, forceful claims made for impact are questionable because of limitations in many of the supporting studies and the lack of independent research on the model."
Willingham explains the criticism this way: "One problem is that nearly all of the empirical work that is supposed to support the Dunn and Dunn model are masters and PhD dissertations of students who worked with her [Rita Dunn], and were not published in peer-reviewed journals. This makes people suspicious that these studies are not methodologically rigorous enough to stand up to scrutiny."
Witte agrees that most methods for testing learning styles have not demonstrated validity. "The vast majority of learning styles instruments do not seem to report validity and reliability," Witte says. "That's not to say that learning styles don't exist, but I would say that they're very difficult to measure."
Willingham suggests that we think about differences in material and what is to be communicated rather than thinking the differences lie in children. "Let the material be the guide," Willingham says. "There's no doubt that seeing something in different ways is going to be a good thing."
In response to the suggestion that learning styles do not exist, Witte says, "Well, we still have people who are convinced that IQ tests are nothing more than vocabulary tests. This should not be a debate over whether learning styles exist, but how we measure them."

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Female Nobel Laureates by the side of Rohingya women


THREE female Nobel Peace Laureates are in city on a weeklong trip to Bangladesh to see for themselves Rohingya women who were tortured and raped by Myanmar military before fleeing refugee camps in our country. During their visit, Iran's Shirin Ebadi, Yemen's Tawakkol Karman and Northern Ireland's Mairead Maguire have ...

Cricket »

Members of CAD Challengers, who became champions of NBL Internal Cricket Tournament pose for photo with the trophy and officials at Dhaka University Central Ground on Friday (Feb 23). In the final CAD Challengers defeated Western Spirit by 7 wickets.


Entertainment »

Abhishek Kapoor, Sara & Sushant's Kedarnath is on course!


Sushant Singh Rajput took to social media and posted a team picture with so-star Sara and director, producer Abhishek Kapoor captioning it as Jai Shiv Shambhoo recently. The trio were all smiles while posing for the click. The lead pair had visited Abhishek at his office located in the suburbs ...

Entertainment »

Veteran actress Sridevi dies of cardiac arrest


Entertainment Report :Veteran Bollywood actor and Padma Shri awardee Sridevi, who had an illustrious career spanning over four decades, passed away. She was 54. Sridevi, died late in the night reportedly due to cardiac arrest in Dubai, where she had gone along with her family to attend her nephew Mohit ...

City »

Lawyers of BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia briefing media people after hearing on bail of Khaleda Zia in Zia Orphanage Trust Graft Case coming out of the court on Sunday.


International »

China sets stage for Xi to stay in office indefinitely


sReuters, Beijing :China's ruling Communist Party on Sunday set the stage for President Xi Jinping to stay in office indefinitely, with a proposal to remove a constitutional clause limiting presidential service to just two terms in office.Xi, 64, is currently required by the country's constitution to step down as president ...

International »

New strikes hit Syria enclave after UN delays truce vote


AFP, Beirut  :Air strikes and rocket fire hit the Syrian rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta for a seventh straight day on Saturday after the United Nations again delayed a vote on a ceasefire.The Damascus government launched a devastating bombardment of the enclave just outside the capital last Sunday that has ...

Editorial »

More vigilance at Rohingya camps against human traffickers


Aid workers have identified 32 victims of human trafficking so far at Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar and also reported lack of access to basic services and self-reliance opportunities - especially for women and girls increasing the risk of trafficking. If such risks were assessed from the very beginning when ...

Sports »

Medalist in the men's parallel giant slalom (from right) South Korea's Lee Sangho (silver), Switzerland's Nevin Galmarini (gold) and Slovenia's Zan Kosir (bronze) pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Saturday.


Entertainment »

Sunny Leone on her Tamil film debut: I'm beyond excited to start shooting


Former adult film actress Sunny Leone made a swift move into the Hindi film industry in 2012. And now the Indo-Canadian actress is all set to make her debut in a Tamil film. She says south Indian films would help her grow as a person and an actress. Sunny, whose ...

City »

Poet Abdul Hai Shikder along with others holds the copies of a book titled 'Aroni' written by Latiful Khabira at its cover unwrapping ceremony in the city's Suhrawardy Udyan on Saturday.


Editorial »

Indian Army Chief`s allegation means complicity of government of Bangladesh


REMARKS by Indian Army Chief, Gen. Bipin Rawat on Thursday that a 'planned influx' of people from Bangladesh into India's north-east is underway as part of a proxy war by Pakistan with support from China, so to keep the area disturbed. Moreover, he also said migration from Bangladesh are happening ...

Sports »

Bronze medalist in the women`s Big Air snowboard Synnott Zoi Sadowski of New Zealand, poses during the medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Thursday.


.

Entertainment »

Priyanka Chopra terminates contract with Nirav Modi, not suing him yet


Priyanka Chopra has decided to cut ties with billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi's brand following the news about the alleged banking fraud carried out by him. "In the light of recent allegations, Priyanka Chopra has chosen to terminate her contract with the Nirav Modi brand," a spokesperson of Priyanka, who ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Moudud Ahmed speaking at a protest rally organised by Khaleda Zia Mukti Parishad at the Jatiya Press Club on Friday demanding release of BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia.


.

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news