Learning Styles

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CHAPTER I

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Rationale
Every person has its own uniqueness making everyone different from each other which means that in everything people do, they vary from each other. For the students, they learn in different ways as well as their capability to acquire knowledge. This situation refers to as “learning styles” which is defined as “the concept that individuals differ in regard to what mode of instruction or study is most effective for them” (Pashler, et.al., 2008, p. 105). This is similar to the students’ preference on his/her way of learning in a particular area. Various learning styles have been used by many students as their approach to attain information and to process this to learn. One model of learning styles is the Fleming’s VAK Model which is sometimes known as the VARK model. In an article published by Gable (2010) written by a writer named “nlee31”, the Fleming’s VAK Model was presented; the visual learning style (V), the auditory learning style (A) and the kinesthetic learning style. The visual learners are skillful at looking charts, graphs or any instructional visual material and they can apply it to their school projects. Auditory learners are skilled through listening with good memory and use of information. Lastly, kinesthetic learners learn best through application.

Learning styles is known as a validation to determine that students perform in class and achieve something in different manners. As to their academic performance, these learning styles were used in all the subject areas. The students learn in a variety of way as a result of the teachers’ style of conveying information. Because of this, the students also have different performance in their academics such as in mathematics for example as to the use the Fleming’s VAK model, it was posted on the VARK official website by Neil Fleming (2010) that when the VAK questionnaire is used, it will result to a great difference across the different disciplines.

Mathematics is only one of the subject areas that students take up in college. During the tertiary level, most students find learning this area as the most difficult part. Difficulty may result to inattentiveness and poor performance of students in a class may occur. Learning styles in Mathematics can be different among students. It is very important that a student is aware of his/her learning style such that he/she will be able to assess himself/herself in an environment of different learners. In a study of Al-Balhan (2010) entitled “Learning Styles in Relation to Academic Performance in Middle School Mathematics”, the results show that students in the experimental group whose learning styles were accommodated performed better than the students in the control group who studied using the traditional method.

Finding college students having difficulties in learning mathematics is a challenge for the instructors to develop teaching strategies which is creative and innovative. The instructors’ knowledge of their students’ learning styles will serve as the general guide for them to have revisions and vary the activities to be given to the students. Also, Munshin and Huentick (2008) emphasized “The foundational belief in attention to learning styles is that if teachers understand their preferred learning styles and those of their students, they will be able to adjust their curriculum and teaching methods to accommodate students with different learning styles.” The effort of meeting the needs of the students according to their learning styles may eventually leads to the development of the course in College Algebra; thus, determining the students’ learning style is a very important part of this. Blackmore (1996) in Diaz and Cartnal (1999, p.130-135) suggested that one thing an educator can do to assist the learning process is to be simply aware that there are diverse learning styles in the student population. Just like the other studies relating...
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