A study published in Frontiers in Education investigates whether there is an association between students’ self-reported preferred learning styles and teachers’ evaluation of each student’s learning style, and whether teachers’ assessments are informed by their students’ intellectual ability.
The term “learning styles” is used to account for differences in the way that individuals learn, and the idea that students learn better if teachers can tailor their teaching to a student’s preferred style of learning, often described as either visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.
In the study conducted by Marietta Papadatou-Pastou and colleagues, 199 fifth and sixth grade students from five schools in Athens, Greece, chose which was their preferred learning style (visual, auditory, or kinesthetic). They also completed a short IQ test (the Raven’s matrices). Their teachers were asked to identify each of their student’s preferred learning style. Each student’s learning style was judged by one teacher. It was found that:
- There was no significant correlation between the teachers’ judgements of their students’ preferred learning styles and the students’ own assessment.
- There was also no association between the teachers’ judgments of their students’ learning style and the students’ intellectual ability, suggesting that the teachers were not using intellectual ability as a proxy for learning style.
The authors suggested that identifying learning style could be a hit-and-miss process, in which the assessments made by teachers and students did not always agree.
Source (Open Access): Papadatou-Pastou, M., Gritzali, M., & Barrable, A. (2018). The learning styles educational neuromyth: lack of agreement between teachers’ judgments, self-assessment, and students’ intelligence. Frontiers in Education, 3. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2018.00105