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.