Deconstructing The Myth of Learning Styles

Posted by The Committed Sardine on

“This is a great January 30, 2013 post by Edudemic's Katie Lepi.”


After several years of writing for Edudemic, I’d have to say that one of the most controversial topics we’ve ever written about is the concept of different learning styles. Whenever this particular topic has come up, there are folks who write to us saying they appreciate the reminder that every student learns differently, while many others write telling us how stupid we are for even thinking of supporting the idea that there are different types of learners. I’ve seen an enormous selection of infographics circulating that show different learning styles. We’ve even shared some of them. So today’s infographic is for the learning styles nay-sayers. The handy infographic below deconstructs the myth of learning styles.

What do you think? Are the different learning styles truth or fiction? Leave a message in the comments! (Please keep in mind that this infographic represents just one side of the argument – it plays devil’s advocate, if you will. Please be nice to one another in the comments!)

  • 82% thought that teaching children in their preferred learning style could improve learning outcomes. This approach is commonly justified in terms of brain function, despite educational and scientific evidence demonstrating that the learning style approach is not helpful.
  • There are three ‘learning styles’ that are most commonly referenced – auditory, kinesthetic, and visual.
  • The other main styles commonly referenced are verbal, mathematical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal.
  • Advocates argue that better learning outcomes can be achieved when a teacher takes a student’s learning style into consideration.
  • Adversaries argue that this particular concept is scientifically not proven.
  • There is no convincing evidence to prove that when an instructor changes the presentation mode of his course to match the learning style of the students it actually helps them.
  • There is no ‘better’ or ‘faster’ learning outcome of implementing individual preferences in a course. It is just simply a style.
  • Instructors should not just take into consideration a learner’s style, but also their background and interests.
  • Content is the parameter that should directly affect the mode of presentation.
  • It is definitely more efficient to create a course based on the motivational characteristics of the students and not their learning styles, and always be ready to adjust the teaching method as necessary.
  • Perceptual learning has to do with senses and there is nothing restrictive about that. It doesn’t prove that someone is a specific type of learner, but merely suggests that someone prefers a particular style of learning.
  • Not all learning happens the same way, and neither should teaching. What’s crucial is to decide which techniques are best for which learning outcomes.



What do you think?