Learning Styles in the Classroom: Educational Benefit or Planning ExerciseReport as inadecuate

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Psychology Teaching Review, v16 n2 p67-79 2010

Differentiation of teaching is encouraged to accommodate student diversity. This study investigated whether using learning styles as a basis for differentiation improved A-level student performance, compared to differentiation on the basis of academic ability. Matched classes of A-level psychology students participated. In one class, learning activities were differentiated by academic ability; in the other class, learning activities were differentiated by learning style for nine weeks, followed by a further class test. Student understanding of learning styles was also investigated. Both classes significantly improved from baseline to final test, but there was no significant difference in improvement between the two groups, and indeed a slight trend for more improvement following differentiation by ability. Further research into personalised learning is required, and suggestions are made for a student-focussed intervention to enable students to better understand and to employ their own learning styles as a tool for independent study. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)

Descriptors: Cognitive Style, Learning Activities, Student Diversity, Psychology, Academic Ability, Teaching Methods, Individualized Instruction, Student Needs, Continuing Education, Program Evaluation, Intervention, Foreign Countries, Planning, Multiple Intelligences

British Psychological Society, Division for Teachers & Researchers in Psychology. St Andrews House, 48 Princess Road East, Leicester, LE1 7DR, UK. Tel: +44-1162-529551; Fax: +44-1162-271314; e-mail: directmail[at]bps.org.uk; Web site: http://www.bps.org.uk/ptr

Author: Allcock, Sarah J.; Hulme, Julie A.

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=701&id=EJ920100

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