Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Learning styles again... again

Just in case my arguments against the concept of learning styles don't carry enough weight - here's someone with a lot more credibility than me.

1 comment:

Jason Allen said...

I know most modern thinkers on learning hate the idea of "learning styles", but I find myself clinging to the idea of "thinking styles". Even in that great YouTube video, the professor admits that some people have a greater Visual orientation, and others are more auditory.
I agree that doesn't affect all that much how they learn - but I would argue that it affects how they process their internal thoughts, and how they come to "understandings."
Much ado has been made of Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor's "Parallel vs. Serial Processor" discussion, and I have to think there's some validity to that.
Some people think in a straight line, others join the lines together at random intervals.
Years ago, Anthony Gregorc came up with a learning styles delineator that has since been debunked by everyone who looked at it. BUT, if you look at one research study done on one part of it (according to a report debunking VAK questionairres that I first found on your website) at my old Alma Mater the University of Calgary - the people that Gregorc called Concrete learners were either succeeeding in math and science, or struggling in the liberal arts, while the people he called Abstract were the opposite.
Long comment, I know, and good teaching is good teaching - I totally agree - But I think I come down on the side of abstract vs. concrete thinking.
I.e. About 50 times a day at work, I will overhear a remark, and suddenly start singing a song that contains that line as a lyric. That's random, most people don't do that. People who do (and I suspect you are one of them!) get what I'm saying. Others don't.