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learning styles - does anyone know ?

(45 Posts)
Katiestar Wed 11-Feb-09 20:44:21

What percentage of people are visual learners ,what percentage kinesrhetic learners etc ?
I need to know for some work I'm doing and getting lots of different answers when I google.

scienceteacher Wed 11-Feb-09 20:47:08

It's probably fairly easily split.

I know that I am a strong visual learner, weakly auditory and non-existant kineasthetic.

I have to overcome this when I teach, as there is an desire to teach according to your own learning style - but that would exclude most of your pupils.

gigglewitch Wed 11-Feb-09 20:47:49

ooh, good question... yes lies damn lies and statistics, i think - answers will vary widely depending on who you quote.
Will go get my little faithful book and see what it has to say on the matter - BRB smile

scienceteacher Wed 11-Feb-09 20:48:36

* evenly split

gigglewitch Wed 11-Feb-09 20:56:26

* Auditory learning occurs through hearing the spoken word and represents approximately 25% of the population
* Kinesthetic learning occurs through doing, touching and interacting and represents approximately 40% of the population
* Visual learning occurs through images, demonstrations and body language and represents approximately 30% of the population

this is from my fave NLP text, (just called "NLP") written by steve bavister and amanda vickers.
does this help or contradict what you've already got?

Thing is, most people use more than one style all of the time, these figures are just quoting the predominant means by which individuals learn. There is a lot of 'grey' between such black-and-white style numbers...
good luck!!

TheFallenMadonna Wed 11-Feb-09 20:57:11

Some doubt over the validity of the theory of different learning styles, isn't there? So it's highly likely that there is no deifinitive answer as to proportions.

gigglewitch Wed 11-Feb-09 20:57:15

btw, where did the other 5% go hmm

TheFallenMadonna Wed 11-Feb-09 20:58:08

definitive. deifinitive sounds a bit religious...

gigglewitch Wed 11-Feb-09 20:59:03

just to throw a cat among the pigeons grin <typical> I think that the stats should be defined as 'quantity of time' rather than of 'number of people'. But that is probably another thread entirely wink

gigglewitch Wed 11-Feb-09 20:59:59

lol @ Deifinitive grin

Littlefish Wed 11-Feb-09 21:04:34

I always thought that I was an auditory learner as I'm a musician. However, I've recently realised that I am an almost entirely visual and slightly kinaesthetic learner!

scienceteacher Wed 11-Feb-09 21:04:47

I have all my pupils' learning styles marked in my registers (V, A, K, or combinations thereof), so that I can make sure that I can teach each concept to all the pupils in their preferred learning style, and to know the pitfalls of any particular activity.

beansontoast Wed 11-Feb-09 21:06:49

where can you find out your learning style...pretty sure im visual with a bit of aud

Donk Wed 11-Feb-09 21:19:17

More than a bit of doubt cast on the VAK theory of preferred learning styles.
Sadly I can't remember enough to cite papers.

scienceteacher Wed 11-Feb-09 21:24:29

There has to be something in it, Donk.

I am a very strong visual learner, but I know that this is not right for all my pupils. If I tell a class to read their textbook to themselves and then answer the questions, there will be a significant number that just can't do it. Some will have to hear it being read alound (or read it aloud, either to themselves or to the class).

Similarly, if I were to drone on for most of the lesson, most of the pupils would be switched off. They need to see the lesson, and often write something down.

Donk Wed 11-Feb-09 21:30:08

My rusty memory is that we can all function in all styles - and that rather than a preferred style (as such) it seems to be more linked to what is being learned, than who is learning (IYSWIM). Different situations call for different approaches.
Also that the best strategy as a teacher is to use range of teaching styles to encourage students to develop their ability to function in the different modes, rather than pandering to their preferred mode.
Sorry I can't be more specific. I must try and look up my notes. If I can find them blush

TheFallenMadonna Wed 11-Feb-09 21:32:34

I was being diplomatic donk.

Which theory do you work with scienceteacher? Mismatch or match between learning style and instruction style? I've seen both advocated.

scienceteacher Wed 11-Feb-09 21:36:41

I use all three in my teaching, and will work one-on-one with pupils if I have to do an activity in a way they do not relate to. It helps that I know, and they know, their own preferred styles.

I agree that everyone possesses elements of each style, but it can be hard going for pupil if they have to put up with their weakest style for any length of time.

The precautionary approach is to mix it up

I am fortunate that my subject does lend itself to variety.

Karamazov Wed 11-Feb-09 22:34:05

"Coffield and his colleagues and Mark Smith are not alone in their judgements. Demos, a UK think tank, published a report on learning styles prepared by a group chaired by David Hargreaves that included Usha Goswami from Cambridge University and David Wood from the University of Nottingham. The Demos report said that the evidence for learning styles was "highly variable", and that practitioners were "not by any means frank about the evidence for their work." [25]

Cautioning against interpreting neuropsychological research as supporting the applicability of learning style theory, John Geake, Professor of Education at the UK's Oxford Brookes University, and a research collaborator with Oxford University's Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain, commented that

We need to take extreme care when moving from the lab to the classroom. We do remember things visually and aurally, but information isn't defined by how it was received.[26]"

I was taught by Prof Geake for my MA in education, and he said basically what this wikipedia article says - that there is no evidence that there is any application at all for using learning styles in the classroom, in fact when you look at the evidence, in fact the oppposite is true. There is in fact loads of research discrediting learning styles, including VAK, but very little academic research in support apparrently (although I did do my MA a few years ago now!).

That said, its not to say they are completely worthless, I think they help to remind me to keep my teaching varied and to mix the different types of activities up, so I try to teach using a range of learning styles - but I certainly don't match them to the students. After all, there are even some scholars who say that we should be teaching students in their least preferred learning style, so as to make them more rounded - the picture is far from clear!

Karamazov Wed 11-Feb-09 22:35:18

sorry too many in facts there - wrote this too quickly, and am in need of my bed! blush

maverick Wed 11-Feb-09 22:36:22

Everything you ever wanted to know about learning styles wink

scienceteacher Wed 11-Feb-09 22:37:45

Thankyou Karamazov - definite food for thought.

edam Wed 11-Feb-09 22:41:38

I've always thought 'kineasthetic' sounds like code for 'not terribly academic'.

scienceteacher Wed 11-Feb-09 22:42:46

Not sure about that, Edam, but non-academic children deserve to be educated too

cornsilk Wed 11-Feb-09 22:47:40

Steve Chinn talks about grasshopper and inch worm learning styles in mathematics. Inchworms focus on details and work in structured steps. Grasshoppers try a variety of approaches. To be a successful mathematician learners need to be able to use both approaches.

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