Forschungsarbeit: Learning Styles

Learning Styles

A Critical Analysis of the Varied Approaches to Learning Preferences

– in englischer Sprache –

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Schriften zur Pädagogischen Theorie, Band 12

Hamburg , 108 Seiten

ISBN 978-3-8300-9541-5 (Print) |ISBN 978-3-339-09541-1 (eBook)

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The term learning style began to appear throughout the educational literature in the 1970s and, like with many comprehensive constructs, its precise definition, and the measurement thereof, remain a matter of somewhat convoluted disagreement. Various researchers have struggled to pinpoint both a comprehensive and functional definition of the construct of learning styles based on a cohesive theoretical framework. However, not only has the semantics of a definition proved elusive, so has the development of a measurement instrument with which to effectively determine the operational style of the individual learner. In short, research indicates that there is both acceptance of, and interest in, the general concept of learning styles, but also, significant disagreement on how to best characterize and measure the paradigm. Furthermore, despite the general intuitive appeal and widespread application of various theories in venues such as schools and organizations, the scientific and academic communities generally regard most instruments with skepticism, criticizing their basic psychometric properties and lack of independent validation, to the extent that today, the overarching concepts are being criticized as meaningless and obsolete.

Far from being an outdated concept, the differences among learning styles remains an important consideration as the amount of information and the skills necessary to process and apply that information expand at rates never before imagined. The impact of these differences upon learning, and thus pedagogy, has become more prominent as learning in higher education contexts has become more diverse and inclusive, especially with respect to the varying modes delivery facilitated by technology. This book presents a review of both the construct of learning styles and various popular assessment instruments, outlining their respective strengths and weaknesses.

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