Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Learning Styles Theory BOGUS?

Hat tip to Steve Phelps who put me on to this article... Matching Teaching Style to Learning Style May Not Help Students.

Some clips from the article:

"There is no strong scientific evidence to support the "matching" idea, they contend in a paper published this week in Psychological Science in the Public Interest. And there is absolutely no reason for professors to adopt it in the classroom."

"Lots of people are selling tests and programs for customizing education that completely lack the kind of experimental evidence that you would expect for a drug," Mr. Pashler says. "Now maybe the FDA model isn't always appropriate for education—but that's a conversation we need to have."

I think the report trys to be balanced... 'Advocates of learning styles respond that Mr. Pashler is the one who lacks evidence. Robert J. Sternberg, dean of arts and sciences at Tufts University and a psychologist who has done a lot of work on learning styles, says in an e-mail message to The Chronicle that the researchers did not fully survey the scholarly literature, and thus "come across looking either biased about or largely ignorant of the field."'

Read and draw your own conclusions...but the one line that resonated the most with me is this one...."For a given lesson, one instructional technique turns out to be optimal for all groups of students, even though students with certain learning styles may not love that technique." Lesson (for this teacher) Let the lesson you are teaching drive the instructional strategy.
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