Learning Styles: Moving Forward from the Myth
Learning styles attempt to describe individual differences among students by identifying students’ preferences in how they learn, and adapting their learning to accommodate that style. Since their inception, learning styles have gained mass popularity among teachers, researchers, and the public. Numerous assessments and self-help books are available to discover one’s individual learning style. Learning styles, however, have been heavily criticized by researchers who contend that learning styles lack evidence supporting their effectiveness and possess unreliable diagnostic tools. I posit that the case against learning styles is not limited to those two claims; in addition, that learning styles outcomes can be associated with confounding factors, and that learning styles may lead to ineffective teaching practices that negatively affect students and teachers. Through evidence-based practices, we can move forward from learning styles and create learning environments that have a greater probability of positive effects.
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