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How often have you heard educators and others discuss Learning Styles?
“I'm a visual learner”
“I'm a kinesthetic learner, I have to get hands-on”
Well, I know it bursts a lot of bubbles when people hear this, but the whole concept of learning styles is essentially a myth. There is no scientific evidence to support the idea of audio, visual, and kinesthetic learners.
Reluctant to believe it? Don't worry you're not alone. The idea has become so firmly ingrained in our thinking.
Here are a handful of articles from very reputable sources that explain the fallacy of the concept. Just google “scientific evidence for learning styles” to find more.
- The Problem With “Learning Styles”, Scientific American
- The Myth of ‘Learning Styles', The Atlantic
- ‘Neuromyth’ or Helpful Model?, Inside HigherEd
- Learning Styles as a Myth, Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning (Yale)
- Learning Styles Debunked: There is No Evidence Supporting Auditory and Visual Learning, Psychologists Say, Association for Psychological Science
I particularly appreciated this observation, from the Center for Teaching page from Vanderbilt University:
“There are well over 70 different learning styles schemes, most of which are supported by “a thriving industry devoted to publishing learning-styles tests and guidebooks” and “professional development workshops for teachers and educators””
So let's try to stop perpetuating this misleading idea. While it may be well intentioned, it simply isn't valid.