For a new paper in Anatomical Sciences Education, a pair of researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have conducted just such an investigation with hundreds of undergrads. Once again however the findings do not support the learning styles concept, reinforcing its reputation among mainstream psychologists as little more than a myth.
one of the most popular online learning styles surveys, the VARK. Taken by millions of people worldwide, the VARK categorises students according to how much they prefer to learn visually, via auditory information, through reading and writing, or through kinaesthetics (by doing or by practical example).
Husmann and O’Loughlin don’t pull any punches in their conclusion. Their findings, they write – especially when considered in the context of past research – “provide strong evidence that instructors and students should not be promoting the concept of learning styles for studying and/or for teaching interventions. Thus, the adage of ‘I can’t learn subject X because I am a visual learner’ should be put to rest once and for all.”
It’s a nice idea, but it also appears to be wrong. Over and over, researchers have failed to find any substantive evidence for the notion of learning styles, to the point where it’s been designated a “neuromyth” by some education and psychology experts.
“I’d really rather work alone. . .” Most of us have heard that from a student (or several students) when we assign a group project, particularly one that’s worth a decent amount of the course grade. It doesn’t matter that the project is large,…
Gardner now teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is the author of numerous books on intelligence and creativity. His new book ”The App Generation,” co-authored with Katie Davis, explains how life for young people today is different than before the dawn of the digital age, and will be published on Oct. 22 by Yale University Press.
Gardner’s theory initially listed seven intelligences which work together: linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal and intrapersonal; he later added an eighth, naturalist intelligence and says there may be a few more.
Excerpts from the blog entries under the article
The idea that multiple intelligences and learning styles have become interrelated is so true. Learning about all the different types of intelligences and learning, it can be hard to keep them all straight. This article was helpful in pointing out the differences. Educators should be aware of these differences, so that they might be able to better teach their students.
– how how human capacities are represented in the brain,
– a number of relatively independent mental faculties
– a number of relatively autonomous computers—[that compute] … information
A strong intelligence:
– an area where the person has considerable computational power
– the power of the mental computer, the intelligence, that acts upon that sensory information, once picked up
So “learning” = us[ing … (different) cognitive faculties?
Q1: Is that ok to assume and say?
Q2: What of “dimensions” – cognitive processing (higher order thinking) and knowledge (concrete to abstract) and sense of self, or affect[ive]?
– Individualize your teaching
– Pluralize your teaching. Teach important materials in several ways, …reach students who learn in different ways… [present] materials in various ways