Archive for September 13, 2011

Teachers should not tailor information to different kinds of learners

The article from NPR (linked below) offers more evidence that there is no such thing as learning styles, but this one goes even further.  These results suggest that teachers do a disservice to students if they try to tailor information to the “style” of the student.  To me, this meshes with Mayer’s work on multimedia learning.  All people have limitations in perceiving different modalities. Mixing modalities helps, and human brains generally work similarly.  If you tailor for one modality, you’re probably overloading that one channel, and another channel may be underutilized.

Psychologist Dan Willingham at the University of Virginia, who studies how our brains learn, says teachers should not tailor instruction to different kinds of learners. He says we’re on more equal footing than we may think when it comes to how our brains learn. And it’s a mistake to assume students will respond and remember information better depending on how it’s presented.

For example, if a teacher believes a student to be a visual learner, he or she might introduce the concept of addition using pictures or groups of objects, assuming that child will learn better with the pictures than by simply “listening” to a lesson about addition.

via Think You’re An Auditory Or Visual Learner? Scientists Say It’s Unlikely : Shots – Health Blog : NPR.

September 13, 2011 at 10:02 am 11 comments


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