Learning Styles vs. Academic Performance

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Chapter 1
THE PROBLEM AND ITS SCOPE

Introduction
Good teaching is based on the psychology of teaching. The nature of the learning process and the laws that govern its operation determin the types of teaching to be used by the teachers. The learner is recognized as the first principle of teaching and learning.

According to psychologist, learning is a process of growth and development through self-activity or experience. Every learning situation entails effect. Learning requires a response potential which is sufficient to allow various kinds of behavior. Learning is not complete until the individual receives satisfaction, reward or reduction of tension for the efforts. The individual interacts with forces in the environment; he is driven by various motivations instigated by needs. Since learning is a comprehensive process, it also involves the use of abstract concepts. It may take place at abstract level or at concrete level. (Corpuz and Salandan, 2007)

All learning, as such, involves situations, which may not necessarily involve physical and motor components of behavior before the learner finally reaches the goal. In such a situation, learner manipulates and endeavors to find out suitable solutions to even somewhat dissimilar problems. In a symbolic and abstract form of learning, learners past experience, his general ability and level of imagination determine the process in hitting out at the correct solution.

According to Zulueta et.al. (2002), learning is an acquisition of knowledge and information, development of skills and desirable attitudes and values.
It is said that each individual is unique and we differ from each other. Thus, individuals have unlike characters, personality, behavior, and styles in learning new things.
In teaching, one cannot say that only one teaching method or strategies is to be used. We have variety of teaching methods and strategies to choose for the teaching- learning cycles. It can be said that the best teaching method is the one that yields results. Corollary to the diverse teaching methods is the diverse learning styles of students.

Learning is probably a difficult concept to define. Generally, it is describe as a process of having one’s behavior modified, more or less permanently, by what happens in the world around him by what he observes. It is any change that results from experience except changes, which are due to psychological adjustment such as sensory adaptation and muscular fatigue or injury.

Many learners prefer to learn in a quite cozy room, some prefer to do their studies late at night and others set an alarm because they are more energetic in the morning. Others learn best by reading and some by chatting, some prefer to listen to a mellow song and some may find music as destruction.

Whatever it is, it’s just learning style of every learner, - a diverse way of acquiring knowledge and understanding. Indeed, we are a population of incredibly diverse learners. Intriguing new research focusing in the ways students learned suggest that learning styles may be as unique handwriting. The challenge for educators is to diagnose these styles and to shape instructions to meet individual student need. (www.mhhe.com/sadker7e).

The process of learning is primarily controlled by the learner and not by the teacher. Learning is not only a function of what a teacher does to, or says to, or provides for the learner. Moreover, learning has to deal with something which happens in real life or unique world of every individual. It flourished a situation in which teaching is only seen as facilitating process that assisting people to discover or explore the true meaning of the events for them.

According to Guerero (2001) as cited by A.B. Ronda (2004), the learning style of students is unique and should be considered in the learning- teaching cycles. He stated further that teachers and administrators should give importance to student’s learning styles in order to come up with...
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