Do people truly learn in a variety of ways? Unfortunately, it turns out it’s not quite that simple. Today, we will talk about the different learning styles and the myths related to the audible, visual, and sensory learning styles.
Usually, professors and teachers take a comprehensive quiz to determine the unique learning style of each pupil. For example, some students are comfortable learning with visuals, some calmly listen to the audio to learn from it, and others are most interested in the kinesthetic learning style. The latter is an education method where learning occurs through physical activities rather than listening to a long lecture or watching demonstrations.
Knowing about different learning styles can assist a student in developing their knowledge in the best possible way. However, if you can’t locate what works best for you right away but need law coursework help UK, there are several options to go for. Meanwhile, read on to learn more about different learning styles in academia.
The Theory of Learning Styles
The learning styles myth is based on the assumptions that students are taught in different ways and that identifying the best way each student learn allows the professors to teach more efficiently.
The issue is the method used to identify the best ways to learn is to ask how they’d prefer to learn. In other words, teachers frequently rely on students’ self-reported preferences via informal quizzes to determine which learning style is best for them.
ü Students Who Prefer Audio Learning
These students learn best when information is presented in audio mode. Ideally, teachers would use activities to inform verbally, give spoken instructions, or use sounds differently.
ü Students Who Learn through Visuals
These are the students who benefit the most from visual presentations of information. The more these students are shown visuals or graphs, the more productive they are. For example, if you give them a Pictionary, they answer more effectively and efficiently.
ü Students Who Prefer Kinesthetic (Activity) Learning
These are the students who benefit most from the physical manipulation of information. Teachers should ideally incorporate hands-on activities to include these students in the learning process. The students drawn towards this sort of learning are more energetic in responses than the other students.
The Myth of Learning Styles?
Doesn’t the theory sound intriguing? Anyone who has taught a class knows every student is unique. So, why shouldn’t they, too, learn differently? It’s logical. However, there isn’t much research to back up the statement (criticisms of a lack of supporting research is aplenty). Instead, most research questions the notion that students’ learning style preferences matter for their learning.
If you dig deeper into the research, there is not only a little evidence supporting learning styles theory but there is just as much evidence—if not more—against the effectiveness of learning-styles targeting as there is in favour of it.
Educators’ obsession with learning styles, like many urban legends and old wives tales, is an idea that refuses to die. But, of course, there are many theories about different learning styles that aren’t based on perception at all.
A discussion of all of them would be too much to handle and isn’t really what we want to do here. So instead, the teacher should give the best reasons why parents need not be concerned about learning styles.
Learning Styles Do Not Improve Learning Effectiveness
The main argument against learning styles is students’ ostensible “preferences” do not translate into learning effectiveness.
There is no evidence the model is either a desirable basis for learning or the best use of investment, teacher time, initial teacher education, and professional development. While it is natural for some students to claim they prefer learning something by watching a video or playing a game, this does not necessarily imply they will learn better by doing so. Despite the potential gains in motivation games may provide, playing educational games can be a poor learning time.
One Style Can be Appropriate for Everyone
There is always ‘one empirically best way’ to learn something, rendering learning styles irrelevant. For example, if you’re showing someone how to do something on a computer, the best way to learn is to do it on the keyboard rather than just being shown or told! On the contrary, anyone can claim to be a “hands-on learner” regarding computer skills.
The Learning Styles Inventory is thus more likely to reveal what types of things learners prefer to learn (e.g., computers vs history vs math) rather than how they prefer to learn them. So, for example, it would be ineffective to use someone’s preference for “writing things down” to teach them Excel Spreadsheet or Photoshop.
The Multimodal Learning Style is the Most Effective
Thinking about learning styles in a classroom encourages educators to consider exercises that use various effective methods. It is probably a good thing, but not always because students learn differently.
Instead, it’s a positive idea because multimodal learning is more effective than any single learning method. For example, presenting information visually as well as audibly is far more effective than just sticking to either one. If a teacher can supplement the learning with a hands-on project, that is even better.
So, yes, it’s great to present information in various ways. But rather than thinking about pleasing visual learners with activity and auditory learners with visual activity, it’s probably more useful (and accurate) to think about both activities being useful for everyone.
Learning Styles Divert us from other Effective Teaching Strategies
Another reason the learning styles myth is unproductive is because it obscures what we know about what is truly effective in teaching and learning. Hundreds of studies, for example, have shown that repetition of information is effective for remembering information after it has been taught in class. Spaced repetition, done at varying lengths depending on how well students have mastered the material, is especially effective.
Also, active recall outperforms passive re-reading. Similarly, recognition as a study strategy works well. Meanwhile, metacognition is one of the most vital skills that teach students to improve their learning efficacy. Each of these is supported by decades of cognitive science literature—they are far more important in terms of how students learn. If we focus on learning styles, we can miss out on important learning factors that can significantly affect a students’ learning. Since our goal as teachers and instructors is to facilitate learning for students, while students must improve their learning processes, exploring different learning methods is thus advisable.
Professors should enable learning for everyone by creating evidence-based learning environments and effective lessons for everyone, regardless of whether they have a rigid learning style. Finally, experts will always advise students to tailor each curriculum to individual learning styles. However, any wise educator should take such advice with a grain of salt.
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