Learning Styles

Posted on July 6, 2014


So once agains somebody says: “There are no learning styles, and if there are, they’re dead.”

(Okay, that’s not exactly what they said, but… it’s a long story.)

Let’s not throw the shampoo out with the bath water, though.

I think it’s pretty important to understand that there *are* ways of organizing information in our memories — part-to-whole vs. whole-to-part and YES, HONESTLY… in visual, auditory, kinesthetic ways and combinations thereof. Different people can be presented with the same experience / information / event and may organize and try to understand that stuff with very different frameworks. Some have only learned to “study” in one or two ways.

I remember an email from a grateful mom after I published “five ways to learn spelling” at LDOnLine. I’d watched students do the tried and true “copy a word five times” and then — immediately afterward — spell it wrong. The motor task was, simply, separate from the spelling. I’m reasonably sure they could have copied the word 42 times with the same result… and it doesn’t matter. When they used “reverse chaining” —http://www.resourceroom.net/readspell/guidespell.asp they got it a whole lot more quickly.

I think it’s absurd to think that if a model has flaws, it should simply be “debunked” instead of refined. Science works best that way.