BrainX 7MTF Blog

A conversation between the world's best educators, corporate trainers, and top researchers

Brain Research and Learning Styles: Teaching students about learning styles and trying to match instructional strategies to learning styles improves learning outcomes - Myth

Posted on Tue, Dec 7, 2010 @ 21:12 PM

Over the next week we will post the research on each of the four options. Here is the first post:

Learning Styles - Myth:

The latest research shows that trying to match instructional strategies to an individual's learning style (verbal, visual, kinesthetic) is ineffective. In fact there is almost no support for thinking that learning styles exist.

The most comprehensive study to date on learning styles was done by the respected researchers Pashler, McDaniel, Rohrer and Bjork. The study called Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence was published in the December 2008 edition of Psychological Science in the Public Interest. It turns out that this myth is actually counterproductive because teaching students about learning styles leads to the false conclusion that they are not capable of learning if material is presented in a method that doesn't match their learning style.

Unfortunately, selling learning styles has become a big business. A search of learning styles on Amazon produced over four thousand books and products that promote the myth of Learning Styles.

The Smashing Silos Research Staff

Topics: learning styles, motivation

Can You Spot the Myths?

Posted on Wed, Nov 24, 2010 @ 02:11 AM

Which of the following ideas are myths and which are true?

1. Learning Styles

-  The latest research shows that teaching learners about learning styles and trying to match instructional strategies to an individual’s learning style (verbal, visual, kinesthetic) improves learning outcomes.

2. Motivation

-  The latest research shows that offering cash payment or other valuable extrinsic rewards for good test scores (on courses that cover technical or mathematical related subjects) improves learning outcomes.

3. IQ

-  The latest research shows that IQ is fixed in most children by the age of 15. After it is fixed, students can always learn more, but IQ cannot be improved. 

4. Test Taking Ability

-  There is no such thing as a naturally bad test taker; yet, if an adult learner believes he is a naturally bad test taker, when he starts a test the fight or flight systems activate in the brain and retard higher-level thinking skills required to do well on the test. In short, a person’s belief about his test taking ability becomes self-fulfilling.

Topics: IQ, learning styles, motivation, test taking ability, Bruce Lewolt