Despite overwhelming evidence debunking the ‘learning styles myth’ it seems to be popular as ever. 

Reblogged here is a post by Nicholas Meier who argues that, instead of serving students lessons based on their personal learning modality, it is far more effective to use all three learning modalities, visual, auditory and kinesthetic in our lessons.

As one researcher put it, ” “The contrast between the enormous popularity of the learning-styles approach within education and the lack of credible evidence for its utility is, in our opinion, striking and disturbing” (Pashler el at, 2009).

It is common knowledge in education that knowing one’s, or one’s students’, preferred learning modality is important or at least helpful in designing learning strategies for ourselves or them. When I do a search of learning modalities I find dozens of articles in educational journals about how to use this information and why it is important. The interesting thing is that the empirical evidence does not support the claim, despite its popularity. And this lack of support is not for lack of investigation.

modalities

First I want to be clear on what learning modalities are and are not. They are basically the receptive modes of taking in the world—most commonly aural (hearing,), visual (seeing), and kinesthetic (feeling, touching). These are not to be confused with learning styles (of which there are many versions such as field dependent or independent, liking to work alone or with others, risk-avoidant or risk-taker, introverted, extroverted). Nor is it to be confused with Gardner’s seven or eight Intelligences, which are ways of understanding, and really more the active side than the receptive side.

Read original post on Nicholas Meier’s blog here>>

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Dick,

    Bedankt, maar dit weten wij – of beter gezegd zouden moeten weten – al heel lang, beginnend met Alan Paivio (dual coding) en tegenwoordig dankzij de Cognitive Theory of Multimeadia Learning (o.a. Rich Mayer cs). Daar is een heel boek over met bijdragen van de beste wetenschappers ter wereld.
    http://ebooks.cambridge.org/ebook.jsf?bid=CBO9781139547369

    paul

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About Dick van der Wateren

Als blogger en onderwijsauteur denk ik na over onderwijs en pedagogiek. In 2016 verscheen bij Uitgeverij Ten Brink mijn boek 'Verwondering' waarin ik een lans breek voor onderwijs op basis van vragen die leerlingen zelf bedenken. Op het ECL in Haarlem heb ik talentvolle en begaafde leerlingen begeleid die meer uitdaging nodig hebben, en leerlingen gecoacht met diverse problemen - onderpresteren, perfectionisme, levensvragen. Na een lang leven in het onderwijs en de wetenschap ben ik in 2017 een filosofische praktijk beginnen, De Verwondering, in Amsterdam. Daar heb ik gesprekken met volwassenen zowel als jongeren over levensvragen, zingeving, werk, studie, relaties.

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