Effects of Teaching According to Student Learning Style
Literature Review: The Effectiveness of Teaching According to Student Learning Styles
In the Classroom
In the last 20-30 years, learning styles has been a heavily debated topic in the field of education. Many teachers and schools have adopted the learning style approach into their classrooms. The idea of teaching students according to their preferred learning style is attracting to many, yet some believe it is another generalized theory that has little or no validity. Research over time has investigated the implications of using the learning style theory in classrooms and in the work place. Much of the research that has been conducted thus far show positive results of its effectiveness.
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Additionally, another study conducted over a 10 year period suggests that student achievement increases when teaching methods match their learning styles (Dunn, Beaudry, Klavas, 1989). Eubank and Pitt’s investigated the relationship between learning styles and achievement. They determined that teaching according to learning style is in fact effective (2011). Graf, Kinshuk, and Liu believe the key to matching teaching style to learning style is first identifying students’ learning styles (2009). Identifying learning style allows students to learn their strengths so learning could be easier. It is also important for students to learn their weaknesses, so they better understand why learning can be difficult (Graf, Kinshuk, & Liu, 2009). Furthermore, some researchers suggest that learning styles not only positively influence how individuals learn, but also how teachers teach (Tobias, 1990). Teaching according to student learning styles requires teachers to broaden their teaching skills. Although this may require more work from a teacher, it helps to keep a teacher from only teaching in their preferred learning style and prevents mismatching of learning styles and teaching styles (Felder & Henriques, 1995).
Relationship of Learning Style to Gender, Culture, and Environment Research shows a relationship between learning style and gender, culture, and the