chat loading...
Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Learning Styles Myths

Learning Styles Myths

Neuroeducation is the process of applying concepts in neuroscience to strategies in education. Since the goal of education requires learning and memory it seems to make sense to use knowledge from neuroscience to inform best practices in education. However, sometimes things go wrong and strategies that are not actually informed by the field of neuroscience gain traction in the imagination and persist over time. This is what has happened in the case of “learning styles” in education. 

The learning styles approach has two components (1) that we all have a preferred way to accept information, for example through visual versus auditory processing and (2) that learning a new concept in our preferred style will lead to better learning. It is the second component that is most problematic for educators because limited resources (in terms of time and money) may be allocated to learning styles when indeed the preponderance of data, as listed below, suggests that no gain in learning is achieved when students’ preferred learning styles are matched to learning strategies.  

The persistence of the myth, may in part be because there are some things most of us learn better via one mode. For example, visual processing might be best for identifying characteristics of say what a dog looks like. Auditory processing may be best for understanding what a dog’s bark sounds like. However, we are typically expecting more complex learning from our students, say a meaningful understanding of what a dog is including, but limited to, how it looks and sounds. 

Secondly, the persistence of the myth may be due to our everyday experiences. We prefer to learn some things and not others. We simply find it more enjoyable to learn about some topics versus others, but in a classroom setting, ALL students need to learn the SAME concept and the question is how best to achieve that. 

The Stubborn Myth of Learning Styles