I was forwarded an article this week that literally blew my socks off. In the article, the author, Madeline Will discusses a survey initiated by Ulrich Boser from The Learning Agency. Boser surveyed 203 educators and staff from across a wide variety of grade levels. While exact statistics were not provided, his findings suggest that “nearly all’ teachers believe in learning styles.
What in all the F’s?
Don’t get me wrong. I still hear people say it. I know people still believe it. It truly appears that no amount of research is going to fix this for the greater population at large. But educators? Nearly all educators still believe in learning styles? Come on people.
Let me give a quick review. Learning styles are the belief that people learn better when presented content in the style in which they fall. Those styles are auditory, visual, or kinesthetic. Basically, people learn better if they get info in their style. Those styles seem to be mostly self-ascribed. But that doesn’t matter. Because…. it’s not real. Sure, maybe people have preferences. But being one style and being presented content in a different style does nothing to decrease your learning. AKA – Its BS.
So how can educators still believe this? This is the impact of pop culture mainstream ideas being believed with very little research to support it but loads of research to reject it. The rejection research just wasn’t as mainstream as the support. So, the real problem is that the educators surveyed never accessed the research that debunked this myth. And they just kept believing it. I beg all of you. Before you subscribe to a theory, don’t just google it. Research it. Look at some empirical findings. Figure out yourself if this is plausible.
If you google Learning Styles BTW you get a ton of graphics and websites supporting it. Why have those not been shut down? Because people make money propagating myths and lies. Sigh.