Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bulletin: Learning Styles

Although well-entrenched in the “lore” of education, and in quarters like the business world as well, there is no comprehensive research that supports the idea that people have learning styles which determine the best way for them to learn new skills or material.  Rather, individuals may well have learning preferences, possibly the result of prior learning and experience or genetic factors which make certain forms of sensory input more comfortable or desirable.  The degree or balance of nurture and nature affecting preferences notwithstanding, acquiring new knowledge or skills is far more dependent on prior knowledge and experience than preference.  For the teacher this means that new learning must build on what the student already knows and can do, not on the mode in which new instruction is delivered.  See Make it Stick, p. 141.

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