From: The New York Times

Are ‘Learning Styles’ a Symptom of Education’s Ills?

The New York Times:

Do you like to learn by seeing, hearing or doing?

According to some education researchers, it may not matter. They say the idea of teaching according to students’ “preferred learning styles” — auditory, visual or kinesthetic — has little to no empirical backing. But although criticism may be denting the idea’s popularity, it still persists — which may say something larger about the way teachers today are trained.

Students do have preferences when it comes to receiving information visually or verbally, said Mark A. McDaniel, a psychology professor at Washington University and a co-author of the book “Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning.” But to prove that designing lessons to fit students’ preferred learning styles actually helps them learn better, you’d have to randomly assign students to receive, for instance, either a visually or a verbally based approach. If teaching to students’ learning styles works, said Dr. McDaniel, “what you should see is visual learners do better on the visual than the verbal instruction, and verbal learners do better on the verbal than the visual instruction.”

Read the whole story: The New York Times

 

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