The aim of this paper is to investigate various articles to try and find solutions to the question of who benefits from the use learning styles, taking a look at the reliability and validity of learning styles, the use of learning styles questionnaires and if we do not actually use the results to change our teaching in anyway, how could we use the results constructively? Or is the point of these questionnaires more about raising the learners’ awareness of learning styles rather than how a teacher might use the results.
The paper will look at various articles to try and reach a conclusion on the questions posed, and hopefully to the reader to give some thought on why and how they are using the learning styles.
Are learning styles valid and reliable?
Type ‘learning styles’ into a search engine and you are bombarded with numerous types of learning style models, so the question you may ask what research has been done to ensure that learning styles are they reliable and valid.
Coffield, F., Moseley, D., Hall, E. and Ecclestone, K. (2004a) produced a research paper commissioned by the learning skills research centre, it rigorously analysised a range of learning styles. They split the 71 models they traced into 5 categories, and within each category they focussed on the 13 models they felt important to there research. Figure 1: families of learning styles (Coffield et al 2004b p20)
In the report Coffield et al (2004c p55) detailed each model for it’s reliability, and concluded “the variability in quality varies greatly”, and matters which model is used, some of the most commonly used learning style models had some serious flaws relating to there reliability and validity, Hargreaves D (2005) comments on Coffield et al report
“Most of these styles are highly variable, and for many the scientific evidence base is very slender indeed, since the measures are of doubtful... [continues]
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(2009, 02). Learning Styles. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 02, 2009, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Learning-Styles-192682.html
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"Learning Styles." StudyMode.com. 02, 2009. Accessed 02, 2009. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Learning-Styles-192682.html.