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The newsletter from the Dana Foundation is always highly interesting. Today's news stream debunked the "fancy myth" of learning styles and that somehow somewhat somebody could actually made sense out of all that hype and turn it into results.

Here a quote from the article:

What are you calling a learning style?

“There’s not much to this notion of learning styles,” said Daniel Willingham, of the University of Virginia, and no evidence that categorizing children by such terms as “visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners,” for example, helps them learn.

The notion that we can categorize people by how they prefer to learn has seeped into popular culture; 90 percent of the undergraduates in Willingham’s classes raise their hands when he asks them if they know what their learning style is. But research has not proved the categories are useful.

For example, in one study researchers divided children into “auditory learners" and “visual learners,” and then gave them an “auditory task” and a “visual task,” expecting the auditory learners to ace the first and the visual learners to ace the second. They got the opposite results.

“In many of these studies, the original classifications don’t always work,” he said; one person might be classified a “serialist learner” one day, but would meet the standard for its opposite, a “holistic learner,” the next. “The theories at hand aren’t effective,” Willingham said; perhaps another learning theory will appear that is, but he doesn’t see one on the horizon.

His talk had the tables buzzing; many teachers and administrators said they at least consider learning styles when they design curricula or make lesson plans. Willingham said relying solely on such a perspective might lead to less-effective teaching, but he does promote the idea of “changing-up,” using a range of different modes in the lesson.

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Posted by Rosevita Warda in Uncategorized.

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