It’s time to put the kibosh on The Myth of Learning Styles, writes Peter DeWitt in Education Week. A fan of Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory, he divided Friday class time into different learning styles. “Whether it was bodily kinesthetic, musical, linguistic, spatial or any of the others, we (co-teacher) and I would try to hit all of the intelligences that we could.” However, Gardner himself is trying to set the record straight: Multiple Intelligences Are Not Learning Styles, he wrote last year.
Perhaps it makes teachers feel that everyone can learn…which we know they can… but it also creates an easy fix for students who struggle. There really aren’t easy fixes. Students, whether they struggle or not, need a multi-modal approach.
Gardner wants teachers to individualize instruction as much as possible and “teach important materials in several ways, not just one (e.g. through stories, works of art, diagrams, role play).” However, he asks teachers to stop using “styles,” because “it will confuse others and it won’t help either you or your students.” Spread the word, writes DeWitt. Students learn in a variety of ways.