From: Science Friday

The Myths That Persist About How We Learn

Science Friday:

Do you consider yourself a visual learner? When you see something, do you commit it to memory? Or do you perhaps learn faster by hearing new information? The idea of “learning styles” has been around since the 1950s, and the theory is still widely believed by educators and the public, according to a recent study in Frontiers in Psychology. But there’s not much evidence that indicates the theory is true.

“If it were true, this should be really easy to find in the laboratory,” says Daniel Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia. “And we don’t see it.”

Read the whole story: Science Friday


Actually, the theory of learning styles is much older than the 1950s. The earliest reference that I know of is Charcot, who wrote about them in the 1880s. It was also discussed in a 1909 Psychological Bulletin article titled “Methods of Determining Ideational Types.” Old myths never die; they just smell that way.

Hype makes fools of us all. Even my doctor’s form asks how I “learn” best.

How can we stop this nonsense?

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