Design for learning styles MYTH?

We have all probably heard about learning styles. You may have even taken one of the many learning style tests that are available. During my BofEducation(Secondary) study I often learned and talked about designing for learning styles.  There were many Lesson Plan assignments that required that I include learning style differentiation!  I would always write something like “cater to visual learners through website creation” and that seemed sufficient for the marker.

I remember also having to define my own learning style and I HATED it!  Why?  Because although I have a preference to learn on my own for some tasks, I also sometimes really enjoy group work, sometimes I prefer reading textbooks (I really do!), sometimes I like creating things with my hands, and yet sometimes I’d prefer to simply listen to a “good” instructor.  Trying to pin me down to just ONE type of learner always seemed so limiting and also limiting to the way I may think is the best way to teach a topic.

It only just occurred to me today to research the validity of designing/teaching to Learning Styles and guess what I found?  There is actually NOT a lot of evidence for it!  Turns out there are numerous studies showing that designing for learning styles is a MYTH.  Ha!  So why do people believe in it?  I think there are two main reasons; 1) it’s big business & makes $$ and 2) individuals have preferences but this does not mean that designing learning for it correlates to increased learning potential.

What is more important in teaching is that I choose appropriate strategies and methodologies for different types of classroom learning.

 

 

2 comments on “Design for learning styles MYTH?

  1. […] We have all probably heard about learning styles. You may have even taken one of the many learning style tests that are available. During my BofEducation(Secondary) study I often learned and talked…  […]

  2. Margaret says:

    You are probably right Elke, diversity is the ideal, I think.

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