Scientists: No evidence for learning styles

No evidence supports the idea that children learn more if teachers teach to their “learning styles,” concludes a study by a team of cognitive scientists published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest.

Education Week summarizes:

Some children, for instance, may be visual learners, while others best absorb information by hearing it. Other theories categorize learners as “assimilators,” “divergers,” and who knows what else. A teacher’s job, according to this line of thinking, is to find out what students’ individual learning styles are and tailor instruction accordingly.

However, few studies have used an experimental method to test learning-style theory, the researchers found.  Among those that did, “several yielded results that contradicted the theory.”

. . . the report adds, the “widespread use of learning-style measures in educational settings is unwise and a wasteful use of limited resources.”

Of course, Dan Willingham has been debunking learning styles for awhile.

“Wagering is now open on how long it will take before this unsupported idea loosens its grip on education, writes Robert Pondiscio at Core Knowledge Blog. “The over/under is 2o years. I’ll take the over.”

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