Learning Styles in Schools

In the 1980s, a theory originated that would soon prove to be used in schools across the nation. This theory, developed by Richard Felder and Linda Silverman, as according to mindtools.com, would circulate around the idea of children being able to learn through different ways, known today as learning styles.

Since then, schools have adopted this model of learning as to say that all children and adults have the capacity to learn. By implementing learning styles in school, students would grasp concepts easier and be able to attain knowledge for longer and more permanent periods of time.

As of current, seven learning styles are often regarded as credible, while three are focused upon. The styles and their depictions are listed below, in alphabetical order, have been defined by learning-styles-online.com.

Aural (also known as Auditory/Musical):
People who are auditory learners learn at a faster pace when introduced to sounds and music to help them recognize and recall information. For example, these learners could benefit a rap song about Spanish grammar, as they would be more inclined to remember that information than if they were to read a textbook.

Logical (also known as Mathematical):
These people prefer utilizing reason and logic to learn. These people generally thrive in operational definitions.

Physical (also known as Kinesthetic):
These people use their sense of touch as a primary method of learning. Hands-on activities are a great method for teaching in this style.

Social (also known as Interpersonal):
These people prefer learning in group environments and thrive with others. They would not do as well if alone and in solace.

Solitary (also known as Intrapersonal):
These people enjoy learning alone and thrive on working solely. These people would most likely not be great communicators in group projects.

Verbal (also known as Linguistic):
These people use of linguistics and words to learn. Reading out of textbooks is a great method for this style of learning.

Visual (also known as Spacial):
These people prefer the utilization of images and aesthetics to grasp concepts. For example, these people would benefit from pictures being complemented with definitions.

The three styles that emphasis is put on greatly is the VAK model (Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic), as depicted by Wikipedia. Though these three are given greater stress, all are given credibility through neuroscience. All learning styles stimulate different parts of the brain.

A VAK depiction (photo by dsselof)

However, there are oppositions to the theory even still. The credibility may not be as strong as previously thought when you take into account that as your mood changes, when tested on learning styles, you will produce different answers. In my Collegeboard Advanced Placement Psychology class, we discussed this thoroughly, going as far as to take the test multiple times to unveil different results each time.

Another opposition is critical of the educator in question. Some may say that learning styles will not have as great of an effect if the educator’s teaching styles do not mesh with the pupil’s. Others may give teaching styles a poor review because it allows for excuse for failure to comprehend. Although it offers equality in learning, it does not do very much good for the pupil, considering they may take advantage of their learning styles to give up in the classroom when presented with another learning style.

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