Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Monday, April 24, 2017 05:37:36 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Are learning styles a myth?

photo by

By
12th-Feb-2017       Readers ( 228 )   0 Comments
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all (0) »

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."

0 Comments. Share your thoughts also.
Write a comment
Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Cricket »

Mustafizur returns home tomorrow


Sports Reporter :'Wonder Boy' Mustafizur Rahman will return home tomorrow from tomorrow. Mustafizur Rahman had a sorrow start in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. The 'Cutter Master' played for Sunrisers Hyderabad against Mumbai Indians in Mumbai in his first match on April 13. Mustafiz bowled 2.4 overs conceding 34 runs ...

Football »

Neymar ban dispute rages ahead of Clasico


Neymar looks set to travel with the Barcelona squad for Sunday's El Clasico against Real Madrid as the Catalans continue to fight his suspension for the potentially title-deciding clash.The Brazilian is in the midst of a three-game suspension for his red card and subsequent sarcastic applause of the officials in ...

Editorial »

Specter of war threatening world peace


North Korea has warned of preemptive strike against the South as the specter of war threatens the Korea peninsula.. Meanwhile, Talibans killed at least 140 Afghan soldiers on Friday in an ambush on the regime's forces in northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. It is so far the deadliest attack on Afghan ...

Entertainment »

Will never do erotic genre like Hate Story 3 again: Daisy Shah


Actress Daisy Shah played a bold role in the 2015 erotic thriller "Hate Story 3". But she will never get into that genre again as she finds kissing a stranger very awkward.Asked what kind of characters she will never play on screen, she told IANS in an email interaction: "I ...

Entertainment »

I'm still an outsider in Hollywood: Chris Pratt


Chris Pratt is the main lead in two of the biggest Hollywood franchises - Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy - and is one of its highest-earning stars, but the American actor still considers himself an outsider in Hollywood. The actor believes "Hollywood has a tendency to homogenise its ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Nazrul Islam Khan, among others, at a rally organised by former students` leaders of Sirajganj district at DRU auditorium demanding release of BNP Vice-Chairman Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku.


International »

Russia tried to use Trump advisers to influence election: Report


AFP, Washington :Rus­sian operatives tried to infiltrate Donald Trump's presidential campaign through his advisers, including foreign policy aide Carter Page, CNN reported on Saturday.CNN said this emerged through FBI intelligence gathering, which triggered an investigation into any possible coordination between Trump campaign operatives and Russian officials.US officials told the news ...

Cricket »

Pacer Taskin becomes Atom Gum brand ambassador


Bangladesh pacer Taskin Ahmed has been appointed as the brand ambassador of Atom Gum, a product of PRAN Confectionery Limited, said a press release.It was announced by Shakhawat Ahamed, head of marketing of PRAN Confectionery Limited at a program held in the city's hotel on Saturday. The Tiger pacer will ...

Cricket »

Shakib new T20 I Captain of Bangladesh Cricket team


Sports Reporter :Shakib Al Hasan has been appointed Captain of Bangladesh National Cricket (T20 I) team.Earlier, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, the Captain of Bangladesh National Cricket (ODI & T20 I) team declared his retirement from T20 I format. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced on Saturday that best all-rounder of world cricket ...

Editorial »

Dengue : Now an annual visitor


THE capital is yet again experiencing an early outbreak of dengue and untimely rains may be to blame. Like last year, Aedes mosquitoes, transmitter of the dengue virus, have bred early this year alarming authorities and city dwellers and health officials say there are chances their number would be larger, ...

Entertainment »

Mosharraf, Jui`s Eid play Shob Choritro Kalponik Noi


Entertainment Report :On the occasion of coming Eid, popular celebrity couple Mosharraf Karim and Robena Reza Jui worked together in a special play titled Shob Choritro Kalponik Noi. They also acted in the play like real life characters. Shooting of the play was done recently in the city’s Uttara area. ...

Entertainment »

What Kangana has to say about Azaan controversy


Actress Kangana Ranaut says she has no problems with Azaan but feels what Sonu Nigam said should be respected and discussed.  Sonu Nigam, in a series of tweets, had described the use of loudspeakers to broadcast sermons and calls to prayers by mosques, temples and gurudwaras as hooliganism. When asked ...

City »

Human capacity for achieving SDGs underscored


Right based civil society organizations urged the government to put effective strategies and actions to increase human capacity locally in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They also opined that the human capacity would see a surge once the government strengthens its institutional capacity and provides platforms for ...

International »

Russian FM presses Tillerson over Syria probe


AFP, Moscow :Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov voiced "regret" in a phone call with his US counterpart at Washington's opposition to a Moscow-backed plan to investigate an alleged chemical attack in Syria.In the call with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson which "took place at US initiative," Lavrov raised the probe ...

Editorial »

Over-dependence on Indian electricity supply


ENERGY sector deals signed with Indian companies so far clearly indicate how India has been singularly un-tapping our energy market making us disproportionately dependent on the big neighbour. These contracts as reported by a national daily on Friday including those signed early this month had already handed over the largest ...

 
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