Although learning style models have been existence for decades, its age has had little impact on its continuing popularity in the classroom. Traditionally learning styles have been incorporated into the classroom:
One current innovative study by Mukaddes Erdem examined the effects of learning style profiles on the quality of work produced collaboratively. Using Kolb’s LSI, the study measured the overall learning style “structure” of the team based on each individuals learning style and then comparisons were drawn on the quality of the printed development manual product (Erdem, 2009).
The study of the educational value and usefulness in identifying and teaching to a student’s learning style preference is still both considerable and complex. A small glimpse of the current research shows a predominant emphasis on confirming its authenticity in the classroom. Research includes:
Many, however, argue that studies validating learning style effectiveness in the classroom are misleading. There are those who remain strong critics of the research because of the varying amounts of reliable quality research (Curry, 1990; DeBello, 1989; Dunn, et al., 1995; Metallidou & Platsidou, 2008) and the varying age and focus of the different models.
Critics stress how difficult it is to demonstrate relational consistency and correlation between traits because of the many ways these models are operationalized. Even the nomenclature varies. There are learning style inventories (Myers-Briggs MBTI, Kolb’s LSI, the VARK, Jackson), learning style questionnaires (Honey and Mumford), and learning style delineators (Gregorc, Dunn and Dunn). Dembo & Howard goes even further by attacking the validity, reliability, and usefulness of learning style instruments. They cite research from Arter, J. A., & Jenkins, J. R. V. (1979); Curry, L. (1990); Coffield, F (2004) and Stahl, S. A. (1999).
Clearly more research is still needed on this multifaceted subject matter. Perhaps for the present, an awareness of learning style preference that is then applied to instructors and learners is enough.
For a more detailed literature review, read Salter, & Forney, A Longitudinal Study of Learning Style Preferences on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Learning Style Inventory. Leite, Svinicki, & Shi, in an article examining the dimensionality of the VARK learning style inventory, also briefly summarizes the history of learning styles and the psychometric issues surrounding learning style instruments.
The full bibliography for the above summary is referenced here.
Get Help. Additional article resources on using learning style inventories/questionaires include:
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