Are Learner Styles Bunk?

This morning, I heard a news item on how we learn. The conventional wisdom for the last few years was that each of us learn differently and teachers should cater to an individual’s learning style. The main learning styles were the following:

  • visual learner
  • auditory learner
  • tactile/kinesthetic learner
Personally, I’ve always wished one of the learning styles was “gourmet learner.” I’m sure I learn by taste, especially when it comes to chocolate chip cookies.
The premise of the article was there is no scientific evidence that there is such a thing as learner styles. I was very surprised by that, since I’ve heard many educators proclaim it as gospel. What the study suggested is that we find similarities on how our brains learn instead of the differences. After all, all hearts perform in similar ways. Why should we treat our brains differently?
That is where they lost me. It’s true that our organs operate similarly, but we all react to things differently. My stomach loves hot and spicy food. Others find that revolting. Many can’t eat the spicy stuff without paying for it later.
What I could agree on is that everyone benefits from teachers varying their style. No one responds to all lectures/all the time. We need as many of our senses engaged in different ways to keep a student’s interest and make learning fun.
So what do you think about this study? What do you do to keep learning exciting and fun?

Author: Kevin Spear

I am a marketing professional with a design flair, based in Clayton, Ohio. I specialize in digital and content marketing that increases brand awareness for small businesses and nonprofits.

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