"Different Strokes for Different Folks? A Critique of Learning Styles"
"Different Strokes for Different Folks? A Critique of Learning Styles" by Steven Stahl, professor of reading education at the University of Georgia.
Carl Jung and Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
Don Clark's website contains a nuts and bolts overview of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator with its four continuums (Introverted/Extroverted; Intuition/Sensation; Thinking/Feeling; Judging/Perceiving) and its sixteen combinations (types) and compares the Myers-Briggs model to Jung's and Kolb's models.
Center for Applications of Psychological Type
A more thorough explanation of the MBTI is available at the Center for Applications of Personality Type website
CIRT Learning Styles Site
Terry O'Connor at Indiana State University describes how the development of individual learning styles reflects the development of "a personal point of view": To understand learning style models, begin with one of the fundamental insights of 20th Century psychology: people rely on personally constructed filters to orient their relationships toward the world. These filters are responsive to a variety of factors: age, experience, internal psychodynamics, maturity, cognition, physiology, biochemistry, and so on. Since no one is capable of switching endlessly between all of these filters, it seems obvious that each individual has a unique approach he or she uses to perceive, understand, and plan his or her interactions. Information theory, for example, explains that the world is information rich and therefore people are selective in the information they perceive (& believe). Our personal way of selecting can be described as our style. In a very real sense, we create our own personal point of view.
Cognitive Profile Learning Styles Model
Developed by Dr. Lois Breur Krause, the Cognitive Profile Model describes what we do with the information once we have it. How do we process it? What do we need to do to develop a real understanding of the new material? The model is based on Jung's theory of personality type in which personality is described using four pairs of characteristics that are opposite one another, such as introverted/extroverted. While the Myers Briggs personality type indicator is also based on Jung's work, Krause attempted to simplify the outcome with her model. Instead of 16 possible personality types, her inventory yields four--a manageable number for dealing with in a classroom setting.
Originally proposed by Hermann Witkin, et. al. in 1962, the Field Independent and Field Dependent Cognitive Styles model postulates that "[the] field dependent rely on external cues, or visual framework, in the perception of the upright. Conversely, people who rely on internal cues, such as body orientation and gravitational pull are considered field independent."
Comparing Student Learning Styles
Diaz, D. P., & Cartnal, R. B. (1999). Students' learning styles in two classes: Online distance learning and equivalent on-campus. College Teaching 47(4), 130-135.
David A. Kolb on experiential learning
A nice list of critiques of Kolb's model can be found at: Smith, M. K. (2001) "David A. Kolb on experiential learning," The Encyclopedia of Informal Education.
Dunn and Dunn learning styles model
The Dunn and Dunn learning styles model takes into account how a person interacts with various internal and external stimuli across five categories: environmental, emotional, sociological, physiological, and psychological stimuli.
Field Independent/Dependent Learning Styles and L2 Acquisition
Robert Wyss's article "Field Independent/Dependent Learning Styles and L2 Acquisition" (ELT Newsletter, June 2002) lists the principal characteristics of the two styles and offers a helpful checklist for helping students identify their cognitive style. While the checklist is designed for use with students learning a second language, it could be adapted for use in other academic disciplines.
Going Cycling with Learning Styles
"Teaching Around the Cycle" is one way of describing instruction that accommodates multiple learning styles in an attempt to motivate and engage all students and to encourage them to expand their skills and abilities as widely as possible. Lisa Lim's article, "Going Cycling with Learning Styles" diagrams how a learner might start at the style within Kolb's cycle that he or she is most comfortable with and progress through the rest of the cycle. She offers helpful advice for students who need to develop their capacity to learn in other modes--questions they can ask themselves as they cycle through the stages, as well as concrete suggestions for developing each style.
GSU Master Teacher Program: On Learning Styles
Harvey Brightman at Georgia State University has developed a very helpful website on teaching students having different learning styles, as assessed using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Along with practical strategies for teaching each type of student, he reminds us to be aware that according to studies by the Center for Applied Psychological Type most undergraduates are extraverts and the majority of university faculty are introverts. Related concepts: MBTI, psychological type
Hemispheric Dominance Theory
Carolyn Hopper's website at Middle Tennessee State University examines hemispheric dominance as a learning style. She is the author of Practicing College Study Skills: Strategies for Success. Check out the link to her "Study Skills Help Page" as well!
How Do I Learn Best?
The VARK learning styles model consists of Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, and Kinesthetic modalities. The VARK questionnaire "How Do I Learn Best?" provides users with a profile of their preferences. Related concepts: perceptual modality preference
How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School
The National Academy of Science's research provides a deep understanding of complex reasoning and performance on problem-solving tasks and how skill and understanding in key subjects are acquired.
I'm different, not dumb: Modes of presentation (VARK) in the tertiary classroom
Article, "I'm different, not dumb: Modes of presentation (VARK) in the tertiary classroom." Fleming, N.D; (1995), in Zelmer, A., (ed.) Research and Development in Higher Education, HERDSA, 308 - 313. For insight on techniques for reaching students having various sensory mode learning preferences.
Index of Learning Styles
Explanation of learning styles, particularly as related to technical fields and an Index of Learning Styles - an online learning styles inventory developed by Barbara A. Soloman and Richard M. Felder of North Carolina State University
Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire
Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire, developed by Barabara Soloman and Richard Felder at North Carolina State University. An online assessment tool that will provide you with immediate feedback.
Index of Learning Styles, Learning Styles
Richard Felder, professor of chemical engineering, and Linda K. Silverman, an educational psychologist, developed a model of learning styles and a parallel model of teaching styles designed to be used with students in technical disciplines. "The idea is not to teach each student exclusively according to his or her preferences, but rather to strive for a balance of instructional methods.” The information, however, is applicable for all students in all disciplines. The Index of Learning Styles is an instrument used to assess preferences on four dimensions (active/reflective, sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal, and sequential/global) of the Felder-Silverman learning style model. The ILS instrument was developed by Felder and Barbara A. Soloman of North Carolina State University. Both an on-line version and a pencil-and-paper version of the instrument may be accessed from this page.
Institute for Learning Styles Research
The Institute for Learning Styles Research website expands and updates the VAK model, explaining that "perceptual learning styles are the means by which learners extract information from their surroundings through the use of their five senses. Individuals have different 'pathways' that are specific to them. When information enters that 'pathway' the information is retained in short term memory. Repeated exposure and use promote retention in long term memory." Related concepts: perceptual modality preference, print, aural, interactive, visual, verbal, haptic, kinesthetic, olfactory
Keirsey Temperament Sorter
A free version of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter is available here, but you must register to use it.
Keirsey Temperament versus Myers-Briggs Types
Keirsey's Sorter and the MBTI are deeply connected and have often been confused with each other. This site offers the clearest explanation of the differences between the two models.
Learning and teaching styles in foreign and second language education
Felder, R., and Henriques, E. (1995). Learning and teaching styles in foreign and second language education. Foreign Language Annals, 28(1), 21-31. Although this article focuses on language, its detailed, practical suggestions are valuable for all areas.
In order to use the Dunn & Dunn model to provide direction and structure for effective teaching strategies, four factors that vary among groups and in individuals over time must be considered: global versus analytic processing styles, age, gender, and high- versus low-academic achievement. Read Sarah Church's article which goes into more detail about the Dunn & Dunn model of learning styles
Learning Styles Models
Indiana State University provides a brief overview of learning styles models
Learning Styles vs Teaching Styles
The web brief "Learning Styles vs. Teaching Styles" from Southeastern Oklahoma State University's Center for Instructional Development and Technology offers this bit of wisdom: "Current research, though sketchy and preliminary, strongly suggests that college students are generally active, sensing, visual, sequential learners; as opposed to reflective, intuitive, verbal, global learners (see above). Roughly translated, most college students receive instruction by the traditional lecture method, while their learning styles are incompatible with that delivery mode. In short, there's a disconnect between teaching style and learning style. It's like teaching the blind with pictures and teaching the deaf with the spoken word."
Learning to Learn: Thinking and Learning Skills
The Learning Disabilities Resource Community has developed a free, ten-week course "designed to raise learners' awareness of the cognitive and metacognitive aspects of thinking and learning." While the course is designed for students to reflect on their own thinking, it offers several modules that could be helpful to you as an instructor--including a module on learning styles. You can visit the site as a guest or establish a free account.
Matters of style
Felder, R., (1996) Matters of style. ASEE Prism, 6(4), 18-23. Felder explores how four learning style models (Felder-Silverman, Kolb, Myers-Briggs and the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument) might be applied in the classroom: An objective of education should thus be to help students build their skills in both their preferred and less preferred modes of learning. Learning style models that categorize these modes provide good frameworks for designing instruction with the desired breadth. The goal is to make sure that the learning needs of students in each model category are met at least part of the time. This is referred to as "teaching around the cycle."
Howard Gardner theorizes that although our culture rewards primarily verbal/linguistic and logical/mathematical intelligence, there are at least five additional kinds of intelligence that are equally important: musical, spatial, body-kinesthetic, intrapersonal (e.g., insight, metacognition) and interpersonal (e.g., social skills).
Multiple Intelligences (H. Gardner)
A broad overview of the theory of multiple intelligences
Multiple Intelligences After Twenty Years
"Multiple Intelligences After Twenty Years" a paper presented by Howard Gardner on April 21, 2003, to the American Educational Research Association
New Students - New Learning Styles
"New Students, New Learning Styles" by Charles Schroeder provides fascinating information from the TRAILS (Tracking Retention and Academic Integration by Learning Styles) research project, a longitudinal, eight-year study designed to provide educators data on how student characteristics such as Myers-Briggs type, ACT/SAT score, high school grade point average, demographic and other factors related to choice of major, academic "aptitude," academic performance in specific curricular areas, and attrition. Schroeder then suggests ways to bridge the gap between faculty and student learning styles.
Not Another Inventory, Rather a Catalyst for Reflection
In the article "Not Another Inventory, Rather a Catalyst for Reflection," the questionnaire's creators focus on the use of a modal preferences questionnaire as a catalyst to empower students to reflect on their own sensory preferences and modify their study methods accordingly. The authors discuss the development and use of the questionnaire, strategies for students to use in modifying their learning behavior, responses of students and faculty to the technique, and directions for further investigation of modal preferences. Related concepts: perceptual modality preference
Online Versus Traditionally-delivered Instruction
The article "Online Versus Traditionally-delivered Instruction: A Descriptive Study of Learner Characteristics in a Community College Setting" describes the research of Alana M. Halsne and Louis A. Gatta. They concluded that the online learners were predominately visual learners and the traditional learners at this community college in suburban Chicago were primarily auditory or kinesthetic learners.
Open to Interpretation: Multiple Intelligences Theory in Adult Literacy Education
This report, "Open to Interpretation: Multiple Intelligences Theory in Adult Literacy Education" presents the findings from the Adult Multiple Intelligences Study and looks at the application of multiple intelligence-informed instruction and assessment in Adult Basic Education (ABE), Adult Secondary Education (ASE) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
Reaching the Second Tier: Learning and Teaching Styles in College Science Education
Another helpful learning styles article by Richard Felder is "Reaching the Second Tier: Learning and Teaching Styles in College Science Education." Written with science instructors in mind, it promotes a multistyle teaching approach through the adoption of the "systematic use of a small number of additional teaching methods."
Sensory Modality Preference Inventory
Self-assessment tool, the Sensory Modality Preference Inventory. Related concepts: perceptual modality preference
Some Characteristics of Learners
This website, Some Characteristics of Learners, with Teaching Implications, provides helpful comparison tables examining: adult learners vs. youth learners; instructor-centered vs. student-centered teaching; styles of thinking; and styles of learning
Student Learning Styles and Their Implications for Teaching
If you only have time to read one article on learning styles, make it this one! "Student Learning Styles and Their Implications for Teaching," a paper by Susan Montgomery and Linda Groat for the University of Michigan's Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, compares the Myers-Briggs, Kolb, and Felder-Silverman learning styles models and examines the Grasha Riechmann model which is based on students' responses to actual classroom activities rather than personality or cognitive traits. Teaching methods associated with each cluster of teaching and learning styles are summarized in a convenient table.
Teaching Perspective Inventory
Teaching Perspective Inventory developed by Daniel Pratt and John Collins.
The Keirsey Temperament Sorter
According to David Keirsey The Keirsey Temperament Sorter has been in existence for over twenty years and follows the Myers-Briggs method of assessment closely--asking more indirect questions. The Keirsey Character Sorter is more closely related to the Keirsey Four Temperaments--asking more direct questions and using the technique of ranking. In addition, "both questionnaires can be fooled in giving the wrong assessments, given that many people are not very good at assessing themselves. The Character Sorter might have a slight bias towards assessing people's perceived desired traits as opposed to their actual behavior." The four temperaments are: Idealist, Rational, Artisan, and Guardian.
Theory Into Practice (TIP)
Greg Kearsley's "Theories into Practice" database defines cognitive style as "a personality dimension which influences attitudes, values, and social interaction." Related concepts: cognitive styles
VAK Learning Styles
The VAK model focuses rather narrowly on three sensory receivers (Vision, Auditory, and Kinesthetic) to indicate the dominant learning style. Related concepts: perceptual modality preference