Learning Styles Don't Exist

Learning Styles Don't Exist


Over the past 25 years, the idea that each person has a unique learning style has become educational folklore. Although there are some differences between people that affect their learning, a person's learning style is not one of them. In Learning Styles Don't Exist Dan Willingham, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Virginia, debunks the learning style hypothesis, the belief that a learning style is a mechanism that determines how well a person learns, and that educators should try to match their teaching to students' learning styles (the meshing hypothesis). 

In 2008 the Association of Psychological Science commissioned a group of researchers to examine the research on learning styles. Their report, Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence, concludes with 

"The contrast between the enormous popularity of the learning-styles approach within education and the lack of credible evidence for its utility, is in our opinion, striking and disturbing. If classification of students' learning styles has practical utility, it remains to be demonstrated."     

Source: Paschler, H., McDaniel, M., Roher, D, & Bjork, R. (2008). Learning styles: Concepts and evidence. Psychology in the Public Interest. Volume 9, Number 3, 105-117.





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