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The Elements of Learning Style

The Elements of Learning Style

There is a grain of truth to the myth. Namely, people do differ in their abilities and preferences. The VARK learning model, for example, classifies people as either visual, auditory, reading/writing, or kinesthetic (hands-on) learners. Each method is part of the learning process, and people will have their favourites. Such preferences are as true in education as anything else in life.

Many proponents believe learning styles are inheritable, emerge early in childhood, have a physiological basis, predict learning outcomes, and are immutable.

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People prefer brain-based accounts of behaviour, and they like to categorize people into types. Learning styles allow people to do both of those things.

  • A large percentage of the population believe they were born with an innate learning style. 
  • Studies show no evidence for learning styles, and many researchers fear they may discourage proven educational practices. 
  • People, especially children, are learning generalists who sho...

A prevalent neuromyth is that of “learning styles.”

Engage with subjects in as many material ways as possible. Read, converse, seek out examples, get hands-on, and experiment. While we may have preferences, we should also challenge ourselves to try new methods and re-engage with less-favoured ones. 

Why then does the learning styles myth survive despite the evidence and experts’ red-faced arguments? Because like all neuromyths, it tells us something we want to believe.

Recent studies found no supporting evidence that learning was enhanced by a slavish dedication to a student’s learning style

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