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Do Learning Styles Still Have Value in Education?

Do Learning Styles Still Have Value in Education?

Understanding how we learn is an important step for any student to achieve success, and there was a time in education where discovering your learning style was a key part of the curriculum. Nowadays, with more pressure on passing exams and the recent COVID-19 disruption, learning styles are not as fashionable as they once were.

However, the question ‘do learning styles still have value in education?’ is not only interesting but discovering the answer may be the key to your educational success. Read on to find out what we think about different learning styles.

What Prompted the Learning Styles Momentum?

The VAK Learning Styles Model was established in the 1920s by a team of psychologists who were working to understand how people learn. However, this model was later updated in the 1980s, and a new VARK system was introduced. At this point, Howard Gardner took the VARK model and expanded on it to create the Multiple Intelligence Theory that became hugely popular with teachers.

What Are Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences?

In Gardener’s work, he defined eight different learning styles:

  1. Musical-rhythmic
  2. Visual-spatial
  3. Verbal-linguistic
  4. Logical-mathematical
  5. Bodily-kinaesthetic
  6. Interpersonal
  7. Intrapersonal
  8. Naturalistic

Interestingly, the 8th intelligence was not included in his original work, but Gardner referenced it in 1995 stating that he would add it if he were ever to rewrite his original work.

Can Teachers Really Differentiate Work for Different Learning Styles

At its height of popularity, teachers were left with the pressure of how to teach according to a child’s learning style with the promise that if they did, a child would reach their true potential. This promise was not only untrue but almost impossible to achieve in a mainstream classroom with so many different learning styles.

Instead of being used for differentiation, teachers and students realised that it was more important to understand what their preferred learning styles were and lessons began to focus on offering a wider variety of exercises that appealed to each learning style.

How Can Students Use Their Learning Style To Achieve Success

As students become more aware of how they learn, the easier it becomes for them to use this information when revising or undertaking a task in school. Being aware of these learning styles is a powerful tool and can help students to realise their aspirations when they understand how their mind works best.

However, it is also essential to understand that the majority of people need a combination of these different learning styles to reach their full potential and so it should never be the case that a child learns via one style completely.

What Phi Can Do for You

The great thing about working with us here at Phi is that we can tailor our tuition sessions to help your child learn in the best possible way. We take the time to get to know what makes your child tick and then differentiate our activities to get them where they need to be. Get in touch with us today to arrange an initial appointment; you will be impressed by the quality of the work we do with your child

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