Thursday, October 4, 2018
Both Jim and I have talked about this topic a lot. Despite the mountain of evidence against them, many teachers still use learning styles in their teaching. Maybe this article in the New York Times by Daniel T. Willingham will end this.
"But there’s no good scientific evidence that learning styles actually exist."
"The theory is wrong, but, curiously, people act as though it’s right — they try to learn in accordance with what they think is their style. When experimenters asked research participants to learn a new task and gave them access to written instructions and to diagrams, the people who thought of themselves as verbalizers went for words, and the self-described visualizers looked at pictures. But tests showed they didn’t learn the task any faster because they adhered to their purported style."
"The problem is not just that trying to learn in your style doesn’t help — it can cost you. Learning styles theories ignore the fact that one mental strategy may be much better suited than another to a particular task. For example, consider the learning styles theory that differentiates intuitive and reflective thinking. The former is quick and relies on associations in memory; the latter is slower and analytic."
"We are not constrained by our learning style. Any type of learning is open to any of us."