Learning Styles Don’t Exist

Hi, my name is Dan Willingham. I’m a cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist, and I’m also a professor at the University of Virginia. I’m going to talk to you today about learning styles and how cognitive psychologists know….that they don’t exist Now the basic idea of learning styles seems to make a lot of sense. The idea is that different people have different ways of learning so if you can teach in way that’s consistent with a student’s style, he or she should learn better. There have been lots of these proposals over the years, like verbalizers versus visualisers or analytic vs non-analytic thinkers… I’m going to talk about what is the best known: visual vs auditory vs. kinesthetic …but what I’m going to say about this theory really goes for all the others too. So what are learning styles theories? The idea is that the way that information is organized or the way that you think about it matters in how easily you understand or learn it. Suppose you’re building a new house and you’re trying to give your friend a sense of what it will be like. A visual learner will understand best by seeing a plan… an auditory learner by listening to a description of the house, and kinesthetic learners need to move, so your kinesthetic friend might build a model. The theory says that anyone can learn in any of the three ways so the mostly visual person can still learn auditorily or kinesthetically, and likewise for the mostly kinesthetic person. But the brain doesn’t work that way. It is true that you can store memories in any of those three formats. Suppose I ask you “What is the shape of a German Shepard’s ears?” Most people say that they look at a visual mental image when they answer that question. And there is good evidence that you do indeed store that information visually. Or if I ask “Who has a deeper voice, your best friend or your boss?” You will sort of listen in your mind’s ear, and those sounds are stored auditorily. Kinesthesia is a little trickier, but it works the same way. Movements that you know really well, like riding a bicycle or tying shoelaces will be stored kinesthetically. And yes, it’s probably true that some people have clearer, vivid images and some have weak, undetailed images. Almost any characteristic of people is going to vary, whether it’s height, or weight, or visual memory so in that sense, some people are good visual thinkers. Okay, so that’s the scientific background and it sort of sounds like the theory is right, right? Let me tell you what’s wrong. Think about what the theory ought to predict. Here’s a visual learner and here’s an auditory learner Suppose I give each of them two lists of words to learn for one list I read it aloud–auditory presentation… and for another list I show a series of slides–visual presentation Later, everybody gets a test The prediction is straightforward Visual learners should learn the slides better than the words And the auditory learners should learn the words better than the slides Lots of people have done that experiment, and that’s not the result you get. The thing is, you don’t learn the words visually or auditorily. Actually, an auditory test would be about what the particular sound of the voice was, the auditory quality. For example, did you hear [high-pitched voice] “shell” or [low-pitched voice] “shell.” And a visual test would be for the particular visual qualities of the slides, what they actually look like. When you just ask people to remember the words you’re really asking them to remember meaning, not sound or visual information. And in fact, most of what teachers want students to learn is not visual or auditory or kinesthetic information it’s meaning-based. For example, you know what the word “opera” means. For you, that’s a meaning-based representation. And the meaning is independent of whether you learned the meaning by first seeing opera or hearing an aria. Most of what’s in your head, especially what you learned at school, is meaning-based. So you might think “Okay, but the visual, auditory, kinesthetic idea is right *some* of the time… …like when teachers want students to learn things that are *not* meaning-based.” It’s true, sometimes students might learn things that are essentially visual, like the shape of countries on a map Or something that’s essentially auditory, like a correct French accent. But notice what the theory’s prediction would be. The prediction of the theory is not simply that people with good auditory memory will be better at learning auditory stuff than people with average auditory memory No one would argue with that. The prediction is that an auditory learner is always going to learn better if you present things auditorily. Because that’s supposed to be his or her best modality. Well, that’s pretty obviously silly, you’re not going to try to come up with an auditory presentation of the shape of Chad. Everybody needs to see it. Okay, let me summarize what I’ve said so far. It’s true that some people have a better visual memory than other people. And other people are better at learning auditory material than other people are. But that fact isn’t really all that important for teachers because most of what teachers want students to learn is not particularly visual or auditory or kinesthetic. Most of what teachers want teachers to learn is based on meaning. The second point concerns the particular prediction of the theory. The important prediction of the theory is not that some people have better visual memory than other people. The prediction is that those people with good visual memory will always learn better if you present things visually. But that idea is clearly wrong. When you’ve got something you want students to learn that’s especially visual, like the shape of a country everybody needs to see a visual presentation, not just those people who have good visual memory. Ok, so if the theory is wrong, as I’m claiming, why does it seem so right? One reason is that everyone believes it. And not just teachers. The theory is accepted by about 90% of the students at the University of Virginia. The second reason people believe it is that something close to the theory *is* right. People can learn in different ways, and some people are good at learning certain types of information. But the specific predictions of the theory and the way that you would apply it in the classroom are wrong. A third reason this theory seems right is that if you already believe it you’ll probably interpret ambiguous situations as consistent with the theory. For example suppose you’re talking to a student about the structure of the atom but it’s not really clicking. Finally, you say “picture the solar system. The nucleus of the atom is like the sun and the electrons are like the planets spinning around it. The student understands, and you think “Aha. He must be a visual learner.” But maybe that was just a good analogy that would have helped any student. Or maybe the student needed just one more example for the idea to click. Why the student understood at that point is actually ambiguous. But if you already believe the theory, you’re likely to interpret what happened as being consistent with it. Remember, there are many theories of learning styles visual auditory kinesthetic is just one. But what I’ve said about that theory goes for the others too. Good teaching is good teaching and teachers don’t need to adjust it to individual students learning styles.

100 thoughts on “Learning Styles Don’t Exist

  1. Different teaching styles might stimulate different levels of interest. Modern foreign languages textbooks are usually much more colourful than Latin books and modern languages are better learnt. Similarly, a visual person will be more attracted by a book with a lot of images than a auditory one. But if, for some reason, both the visual and the auditory person study the same book with the same interest, the results do not vary, as prof. Willingham says.

  2. Because students don't only have ONE learning style. Many students have multiple styles, so what are you going to do? Place them in 3 different Science classes? Moreover, it's better to appeal to other styles in addition to the dominant one(s) to provide a more holistic approach to learning. Thinking students have only one style is assuming that students are all static. It's already clear that some people can't sit still for 3h in a lecture, whereas some just "absorb" the info immediately.

  3. Why simplify the job of the teacher? A quality teacher will be able to meet all the learning needs of all learners. Ever heard of Universal Design for Learning?

  4. Knowing your learning styles combined with intence concentration seperates the winners from the thousands who don't. More tips on utube @ mental training & improving life skills.

  5. Ok video, but I disagree with the title. If it was 100% accurate, then all students would learn consistently well comparatively when presented with the same information, which is clearly not the case. It should be changed to "All currently defined learning styles are ineffective", or something along those lines.

  6. no, because there can be reasons other than styles that account for differences in learning. . . e.g., abilities.

  7. no, with your title you are claiming that if you took two people, there is absolutely no way to deliver particular information which would cause a varying difference in their comparative success. You haven't proven this at all.

  8. "Learning style" has a more particular meaning than "any factor that leads to different outcomes with the same input."

  9. You don't seem to address in your FAQ Felder and Silverman's most radical claim: The existence of global and sequential learning styles. Furthermore, since Western education from kindergarten through grad school is heavily sequential–particularly in technical fields–students with strong global learning styles are badly matched with educational practice and their talents are often lost as a result.

    I feel that my own personal evidence of this is compelling. What's the evidence to the contrary?

  10. I think what he's saying is that people often get preferences and styles confused. I do like learning certain ways, but truth to be told I understand you can't learn everything one way just because you like it(and it's not a guarantee that you'll actually "learn it better"). While we may always have preferences, good teaching should be able to stimulate all parts of our brain in different ways. We have certain inclinations, but without testing them with various methods it narrows our vision

  11. Teachers dont have to change the way they teach…
    I am sure regular math teachers are able to teach people good in math.. But you can be the best math teacher and never make a football coreback understand math beacause his intelligence is based on his body, not his math skills

  12. meaning is gained through kinectic, auditory, and visual information. you don't pull out a dictionary and tell a baby the meaning of the word THE.

  13. its really hard to accept this point of view specially since we've spent four years at uni being told that there are different styles and that we should use them!! I think u make a good point with ur presentation though I find myself leaning towards ur side more

  14. I agree I think hes saying that with learning styles people often PREFER to learn a certain way over others.. that's not to say that they aren't ABLE to learn differently with success

  15. well…what you thought the theory of learning styles is is totally irrelevant. There is an actual theory of learning styles that he describes at the beginning of the video and that is the one he is discussing.

    Saying people learn better utilizing their own preferred style is like saying people are happier when they have their favorite flavor of ice cream: totally obvious and not the subject at hand.

  16. but that is exactly what he is saying! Did you watch the video at all before reacting to it? People don't have "a learning style", they use the style that fits best every situation of learning.

    Really, it's not even text, can't you just listen to people before disagreeing with them?

  17. Are you seriously asking if it matters whether there is scientific proof or not? Do you even understand the implications of that line of reasoning? I have some very valuable snake oil to sell you.

  18. Precisely. I've learned many things to be true before science "Validated" them. I exceptionally pleased when I see that the sciences agree. It's the religion of our age. Another way of thinking.

  19. Whether or not an individual teacher thinks he/she has had good results using learning styles is beside the point.  There's a term in psychology called "confirmation. bias."  We convince ourselves that an idea we've embraced is true even if the evidence doesn't support it. School districts around the country have turned learning styles into policy despite the lack of scientific support.  Teachers are sometimes U-rated for not incorporating this flawed theory into their lessons.  A methodology should  never be mandated unless educational leaders have gathered controlled studies that confirm that broad populations of students have been helped by a particular theory while other methodologies have proven less effective.  Unfortunately, education in America is driven by fads, not by science.  This is why (sadly) education cannot be called a profession.  

  20. As a teacher of horticulture I too feel the learner needs to understand the meaning whether they've heard it, seen it in practice or read about it.  I like to think I give plenty of examples to explain whilst delivering various horticultural subjects.  I wonder though as I am firstly a horticulturist and therefore bringing my own hands-on experience to the classroom has my previous profession intuitively made me realise the learners needs?  No matter what the subject matter we all need to understand the meaning! 

  21. The more I learn about brain bases learning the more I believe this.  Tearing down what we have been taught for decades is difficult for some. 

  22. Did you take your pills today, Daniel? Who do you think you are insisting that learning styles do not exist? Gah, this is the reason we are all in Global Warming, because of your shitty 'opinions' claiming you know everything. What twat employed you?

  23. Fascinating, thanks for sharing this! I've studied NLP amongst other things, and am glad to be corrected.

    Sorry you have to endure slightly less than mature comments here 🙁

  24. People who want to be successful are going to do learn and do things their way regardless of what robotic, lazy, monotone professors say.

    College is a FUCKING JOKE.

  25. So now exlpain why so many obviously brilliant people did not do well in school. You seen like a teacher of the "one style" and of course you are going to promote that point of view.

  26. The theory appears to be right because learning is presented as being just about memory. Learning is more than just creating a memory or storing information. Perhaps "learning styles" should be called "learning triggers" in that I believe we initially pay more attention to some forms of information than to others, they get our attention faster. As teachers know getting the attention of students is key to engagement and then the trick is to help them learn.

    Getting your attention has been a key survival trait and one that persists today. Advertisers know this and use it to sell, well to first get our attention. The smell of freshly baked bread, the colours and warmth of a summer day, the freshness of a spring morning, the tune that reminds you of your youth – you get the point. I would claim that whatever our learning environment is we are pre-disposed to notice things according to our senses. Some favor one over the other although all are at play. Perhaps the one that is favored is part of a distant memory because it was more of a threat in whatever environment we found ourselves in. If the danger came first as a sound then we may favor taking notice of auditory clues. If the danger presented itself not through auditory clues but was stealthy and we needed to recognise a shape or shadow then we may favor visual clues. The same may be true for identifying or recognizing danger through tactile means, identifying a particular shape from another in order to avoid danger. 

    Just a theory! 

    For more theories like why boys only do just enough visit 4c3d.wordpress.com


  27. Learning isn't simply about being able to recall. It's about internalization. Different people are able to internalize things better in a different learning style.

  28. Because modal stimulation, benefits the learner with a unique configuration of modulated inputs, leading to the entrenchment of knowledge emotionally. This benefit is maximized if curriculli and teaching methods maintain both ease (encouragement and customization) and variety (all modes encouraged, even those that are more difficult or hindered (esp.) This requires sensitive teachers and flexable curriculi.

    The cognitivist position and ancillary teaching standardization faulters when it dehumanizes our emotional needs and assumes one cognitive goal of the material being framed rather than the uniqueness of our paths to get to the expertise. By way of adept instruction rather than mechanized goals and underlying cognitive anticedents, students learn humanly by the temperment of the teachers more than even the most circumscribed materials. Creativity and uniqueness therefore innovation and variety are the casualties as well as both individual and societal optimization. Ironically in the name of cognitive optimization, resides dehumanuzation.

  29. While you make a compelling argument for the non-existence of 'learning styles' I can't help but to think that the tests that you show aren't testing learning, they are testing memorization. As I put forth in twitter thread, I think a more effective way to disprove the 'learning styles' theories is with experiments involving abstract/non-palpable concepts that none of the the subjects is familiar with and thus de-emphasizing memorization.

  30. This is the first time I have heard someone go against the theory of learning styles. I noticed my resistance to the information because I have been taught for the last couple of years to teach with learning styles in mind. Thanks for the debate. I'll think about all of this more.

  31. It is upsetting that "professionals" in this area are preaching such poorly formed arguments as fact. You said it is true that some people are better and taking in auditory information and some are better at taking in visual information, though you then seem to deem this unimportant as teaching is mostly "meaning based". I feel like you are confusing yourself with the purpose of classifying learning styles – which is, to enable us to present information in a style that will connect with each learner and enable them to take in information more effectively (as you mentioned for visual and auditory). You acknowledge this and then deem in unimportant. Teaching is about learning strategies that enable us to take in information. Content in many cases can be considered irrelevant. Imaginary numbers, balancing a ledger, poetry, the learning the lifecycle of a butterfly are all as irrelevant as each other as far as content goes, unless a future path takes them into a teaching role which will mean teaching these irrelevant things to another generation.

  32. narrow minded pompus a__ _! he has NEVER been in  ac classroom, his hands and clothes are way too clean!

  33. Thanks for your informative video. 
    I have taught for over 15 years and can tell you from experience that learning, to me, is all about input and output. What I mean is that things are inputed into a child's memory, and you hope that they are able to deliver some sort of output that shows that the input was, indeed, received. 

    That said, making learning engaging and fun is the motivating factor that enables students to retrieve (or input) information. To do this, some students have a preference for visual, auditory or hands-on. We know that motivation impacts learning. And relevance, incentives, and all that stuff is what motivates kids to want to take in information and, you hope that they are able to "prove" that they have, in fact, learned. Even a so called, auditory learner, could not be subjected to someone blabbing in their ear, and then be expected to remember a large portion of the material. Same would hold true for teaching a kid the shape of Florida by having him draw the shape and dance around on it so that he would remember the shape and then be able to match it later. I do want to add that no one is entirely a visual learner or auditory; it's always some sort of combined preference. I would say a percentage that obviously is entirely subjective and not quantifiable. 

    All of this considered, I think to say Learning Styles don't exist is not entirely accurate. Perhaps the term is sort of a misnomer. Maybe the term we should be using is Learning Preference. We all likely agree that learning is about engagement and motivation. We really only learn through three of our five senses (though smell could be debatable; I know that I have "learned" at the conceptual level what fried chicken or birthday cake smells like; yet, that's not part of the Common Core, so… 😉
    Thanks for the post. I'm hoping you could respond either in text or video. Would love to hear your thoughts. 

    One a related note, I taught at an all boys school for five years and can tell you that the way boys learn (in general) is quite different than girls. They "prefer" hands on, visual presentation of material. Girls, in my experience, enjoy more verbal (dialogue based) learning. Again, this is a huge generalization, but the success of same sex education and the research in relation to that topic supports this assertion. 

  34. Your argument is weak. If the problem is school work is meaning-based, then in situations where you can accommodate various strengths, which you admit exist, then you should do so. 

  35. I have talk German and Spanish for 17 years and am interested in what your theory about Learning Styles being a popular myth in the pedagogic world.  Second-Language Acquisition is a good platform to test your theory.  Good teachers employ all three "learning styles" anyway.  So called "Super smart" students, I have found, can learn German or Spanish with only one type of presentation, but those lacking certain intellectual skills need lots more help, and all three help it finally "click and stick".  Furthermore, to speed up the learning process, I have found even "super smart" students benefit from all three types of styles and presentations so that they learn huge amounts of vocabulary in a little amount of time, and are then able to be fluent very quickly.  

  36. How do students construct meaning? Words and pictures are symbols for things that students will interact with. How does a piece of writing lead to action and change? It's translation of the symbols into personal meaning that a person then uses to interact with the world. Aristotle would probably argue that the whole point of learning (creating meaning though symbols – visual, audio, or otherwise) would be to increase the effectiveness of this eventually Kinesthetic [email protected]

  37. I'm sorry I really disagree with this video! Learning styles do exist. I myself have a learning disability and I do learn best visually

  38. Great presentation. In General, when students do not learn it is because they are taught not to. They are taught to shut up, listen, and behave. Besides, what is there to learn. We have a service economy: you show up to a job that a friend recommended you for, look good, wear a positive attitude, and have everybody like you. What more could you ask for.

  39. I understand what he's saying… It's just that personally I can't learn auditorily hardly at all. I get migraines, and in high school my mom took me to a doctor who ran a whole bunch of tests (trying to figure out why) and in the process discovered that it takes auditory signals significantly longer to reach my brain than in most people. And to add to that in most of my childhood I ignored teachers and other kids and read and read and read. I read while walking in the hallway, during class, at dinner, in my free time, on the toilet, while visiting family states away that I wouldn't see again for another year, if I was awake I was reading. And so I read very, very, very fast and even with great retention. This ends with me sucking at learning from lectures and with me learning extremely quickly with reading. So, yeah, I guess most people don't learn very differently with different teaching styles. But it would be nice if I hadn't had to drop out of university because a lot of my professors made a significant portion of their tests from lecture material- in other words, material that I was bound to fail, despite that I had the textbook memorized. I guess that's a different subject though, since that's more of a learning disability than a preference for learning from reading over auditory.

  40. This does really take down the belief of learning styles, but the last bit made it sound like teachers dont need to do anything for the student and that is wrong. Teachers should help the student learn the material, and possibly alter the speed of teaching due to if there are students with processing issues :/

  41. I was searching for this research all day long, after discussing with my friends about this issue or what they called a myth

  42. OK, Cheryl, how would you learn how to correctly pronounce the Spanish phrase 'Hasta mañana', VISUALLY? How could your teacher, without speaking or using any audio at all, teach you this using only visual methods? Remember, the aim of the lesson is that all the students in the class will be able to pronounce this phrase correctly.

    All the research has shown that learning styles don't exist. Here I am referring to proper research, not just personal anecdotes. Watch the video again. Dan is right. He even explains why you THINK the theory is true.

  43. If you watch the video, he basically doesn't say "learning styles don't exist", but rather they don't matter for the type of material (meaning) that teachers teach in the classroom. Then makes some strawman arguments like people say certain types of learners must learn all information in that way alone. Of course some information is better presented in certain forms. This is just painfully obvious. Summary, this video is of little value, learning styles do exist, but he argues (very subjectively and without any solid basis) that they aren't of high importance in the classroom.
    This title is misleading, hyperbole, and basically clickbait.
    Move along..

  44. I have no idea how my feed was hijacked but I have no problem with Daniels views
    Academics have no problem reversing positions  .  Our views are far more pragmatic based on clinically proven ideas about how best to internalize information and that is visually . While  a wide spectrum of aptitudes exists better is better  .Good teaching is only good teaching if it is for the benefit of everyone and not just the speaker .Daniels views are based on poor implementation not a flawed construct .

  45. He makes good points, but they're mostly about how people MISINTERPRET the theory, and that doesn't justify a misleading headline that "Learning Styles Don't Exist".  They DO exist, and he even says it.  It's just that the preference for one mode of learning over another is not as extreme (nor as different from individual to individual) as some would have you believe.  Everyone learns in all modes, and everyone learns better when information is presented in multiple different ways instead of just one way. 

    I worry that people will see the misleading headline and take things to the other extreme now, and say that there's only one learning environment or teaching style which is optimal for every student.  We need to encourage teachers that it's worth it to make the extra effort to present information in varied ways.  Just teach in varied ways to the whole group, instead of one way to this subgroup, and another way to that subgroup.  I worry that this article might cause some teachers to over-relax and stick to a single teaching style which is safe and comfortable.

  46. "Good teaching is good teaching and good teachers don't need to adjust their teaching to individual students learning styles." Good teachers do adjust to their student's interests, abilities and stage of development.

  47. Not learning style as much as getting the material taught in a way to make it interesting so people are engaged in it.

    Do I prefer to sit on my hands and listen to a person talk about how to do something or do I like getting my hands on it and 'actively participating' in the lesson as we are going through it? … Sorry my being bored and not wanting to listen for several hours doing nothing doesn't mean I cannot learn something it just means the person presenting the material needs to get the audience to actively be involved as they go – not to mention the importance of pausing /shutting off the fire-hose of knowledge so people don't drown … again that is not a learning style … but a simple fact some people really are terrible at explaining things and if they never stop to ensure the concept is soaking in to the audience there will just be people who are better at recalling things better because their ability to focus was better than others….

    Lets just accept it people don't learn different ways, they simply are able to focus better than others…

  48. I'll rather characterize the teaching to be "good teaching" that the individual student would find effective to their learning. The video clearly doesn't refute "learning styles don't exist" but rather argues that it is immaterial as per how information is perceived by brain. It seems that effective teaching still has to consider individual ability that is quintessential for perceiving the information being taught effectively.

  49. Love the comments below: as usual in America, everyone considers him- or herself an expert on education because everyone has been to school. That's like saying I'm a doctor because I go to the clinic when I'm sick. Nonetheless, more pub ed administrators need to do their own homework on all of these theories before embracing – and demanding that their faculties – embrace every new (so-called) "strategy" that emerges (usually the brainchild of nomadic "consultants" who will tell you in private – sometimes on stage – that they came up with a gimmick and got out of the classroom as soon as they could!). But as long as "edu-crats," ignorant and self-important trustees, politicians, and parents who refuse to believe it's THEIR kid who is the slowest one in the class delude themselves into believing that yet another magic trick will cheat Nature's ability bell curve (it exists for a reason), we'll continue to spend countless billions on short-lived "programs,' "at-risk strategies," discredited but oh-so-profitable high-stakes testing and the constant diversion of valuable resources to classroom bottom-feeders who aspire to careers as gamers, rappers, pro sports first-round draft picks (or, lately, "agents"), network talent show champions, physicians (but have difficulty spelling "doctor"), or future stars of "16 and Pregnant."

  50. Is Teaching an art or a science? Of course it's an art. Brain Gym was lies and Learning Styles being quantified ? Science works and stand thorough scrutiny!

  51. I certainly disagree with his inclusion of "always" in the context of what the theory predicts. For the theory to be valid it needs to only highlight a statistically different distribution of learning effectiveness based off sensory modality, and not an absolute difference.

  52. Wouldn't that technically mean that learning styles exist just not in the standard way we think of them? It's a much more complicated process where a student uses any of the three means of taking in information and applies it to the most relevant data (Like the shape of Chad example).

  53. Quote: "Good Teaching is Good teaching regardless of the learning style" Then the conclusion is there are a lot of bad teachers out there. This video offered no meaningful information to the argument… it's just noise

  54. @Daniel Willingham – I sincerely have a difficult time with hearing & understanding what you are trying to explain. I was hoping that you can put website/article links in the video description for this video. Please? Thank you.

  55. I always thought I was a visual learner because when I heard something–like a professor giving a lecture–I would write it down, and then read it. When I read it–took the information in visually–was when I really felt that the knowledge "clicked" and I completely understood what was being taught. Now I realize that reading the information was the third time that I was exposed to it (after hearing it and writing it down), so that's why things became clear after I read them.

    Thank you for this video, Professor Willingham.

  56. This is an interesting argument, but I think there is a key concept missing – possibly not one which is seen as a central in the learning styles theory. As a Learning and Development trainer working with adults and with experience in Further Education, I see learning styles as more of a teaching method to appeal to student preferences, so they are more engaged and stimulated, so learn the concepts better. I always describe myself as a kinaesthetic (possibly with a sprinkling of ADD) – put me into a lenghty lecture or explanation, and I will get very restless and disengage totally, so will not learn much. Give me some tasks to do, and I will be fully engaged and motivated.

  57. I don't buy this. Why shouldn't a student with a great visual memory be fed information in a manner that LINKS the meaning to a visual image? I agree that it's a theory that confirmation bias plays heavily into, but I don't see this argument that the venue or form of information doesn't matter. The stimulus that is LINKED with the meaning matters a lot.

    We all know the feeling of sitting in an exam scrunching our face to try visualise what the last sentence was on the slideshow from your lecture 2 weeks ago, perhaps if you had a superior auditory memory and received this information verbally, you would have remembered it.

    Basically what I am saying is that saying we learn meanings rather than auditory/visual/kinesthetic information is wrong because recall works, especially in the early phases of learning, by referencing the information in the form it was given which is linked to the meaning. E.g. visually recalling that the sentence on the slideshow said "The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell" leads you straight into the meaning of that sentence, and likewise if it was given in an auditory form. Therefore, the form matters because ability to recall information of different forms matters.

  58. I would change his final statement to "Good teaching is good teaching, and good teachers are CONSTANTLY adjusting their teaching to meet the needs of ALL the learners in the classroom, whatever their "learning styles" may be."

  59. This video was uploaded 2008 and I'm not sure if teachers are really catching on to this idea that learning styles are a myth. Nine years we're still trying to debunk this myth: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/mar/13/teachers-neuromyth-learning-styles-scientists-neuroscience-education

  60. Learning Styles author, David Kolb NEVER indicated that a student should be taught in ONLY one style, but rather…begin with their preferred learning style and then MOVE THEM THROUGH each (different) style for deep long-term learning across multiple domains. The debate on Learning Styles is most often a result of not having read the original work of David Kolb.

  61. Pure sophistry. Nobody should be duped by this video. As a History teacher who has taught in 3 countries I know that my students learned differently. A lot differently. Some preferred to memorize lists. Others gathered masses of materials and made notes. Quite a few memorized most of the material during the lesson. Others needed to draw conceptual trees, ot udnerstand historical events.

  62. Sorry, but this is bullsh&t. Good teaching that works for all students is developed as part of a UDL (Universal design for leaning) that takes into account different modalities of learning, or strips it down to a basic approach that all learners can utilize. People believe that learning styles exist because there is evidence that they do If I show you horses, I can get you to believe that horses exist. This video is showing us a zebra, and telling us that horses don't exist. Some learning styles are better suited for the individual, as well as the material being presented.

  63. I agree and thanks for explaining the science behind this!
    BUT WHAT I HAVE NOTICED ABOUT MYSELF AND MY 2 BROTHERS: We understand instructions better if we can read them. This is always the case. Note: If the atmosphere is nervous (the teacher makes me feel uncomfortable or some other reason), then I seem to go into "flight or fight" zone and as I can't move in my seat the zone continues. Here's what I feel then:
    1. I blush, my face becomes red. I start sweating as if it was a hot day and I was outside.
    2. I can't think anything and especially I can't think anything rational/logical/complicated/maths
    3. I feel extremely uncomfortable, I'd rather take physical pain. A 2-centimeter deep cut in my hand would be easy and nothing.
    4. Everything the teacher (or the person making me uncomfortable) is saying goes in my brain and out like it was never there. I can't actually understand what I hear. The words (sound) starts sort of blending and echoing. If I say "okay" to the teacher – if I'm trying to lie to them that I understood – my own voice echoes and sounds like it was someone else's voice.
    5. My visual sight becomes very clear and I notice the tiniest details. It's like a hawk's zoom sight or a camera lens. Colors seem to be brighter.
    6. I can't move. I can't turn my head. And I definitely can't look anyone in the eye, especially not the teacher. I just stay stiff, until the moment passes.

    This still sometimes happens, but I seem kind of gotten over it by just trying to be brave and getting myself into situations where I know this might happen. I've tried to pinpoint the reasons to why I went to that Flight or Fight zone. So far I think it was because 1. I thought they were critisizing me as a person, when in fact they were critisizing my work
    2. I highly respected and admired the person and wanted to prove them that I'm good at something. Everything became so… as if the stakes were really high.
    3. I knew I hadn't done enough work to be good at something
    4. I was interested in everything and I didn't know the area of my expertese, I didn't know the exact limits of my abilities and knowledge. I wanted to know and be good at everything. I didn't know what I knew. And I didn't know what I didn't know. (Hope that makes sense). When I had to explain to the person making me uncomfortable something that was out of my understanding I confused and went to the zone. If I instead had known and just said "I haven't studied about this exact matter yet and thus don't know it. Instead I know about this phenomenon because I have read about it" it would have been easy to stay relaxed.
    5. I was also a bit shy/introverted and for some reason couldn't look people in the eye. I think it's because of my history, but not about that now. (Until recently I made myself watch people in the eye but I had to watch a couple of informational videos before I could do it. )

    I know this sounds stupid, but I think that's what happened.

    BUT if the atmosphere is accepting and relaxed, and I'm free to move from my chair, start walking a bit, and if trying and errors and mistakes are allowed, then I could and can understand and take any instructions or critic towards me or my work.

  64. Maybe the real "learning styles" are defined by previously acquired knowledge that is rather fluid and of interest to the learner. Intrinsic interest is a huge advantage, and previously correlated learning probably works more or less as a scaffolding for further learning. People's interests and previous knowledge will not fit homogeneously into those series of dichotomies, so it could produce an appearance of a more generalized learning style accordingly.
    And on younger children and early teens, I guess, perhaps things like degrees of dyslexia that is not diagnosed as such may also be correlated with a subjective feeling of having learning styles that don't rely much on reading.

  65. You completely fucked up in this very interesting video when you said the prediction is that they should >ALWAYS< learn better in their modality. You brought in an absurd absolute which is much easier to debunk.

  66. So learning styles don't really exist and they are going out of style? Teaching still has to be differentiated to various learning styles because just saying they don't exist does not work.

  67. You're a professor at a University, so i am sure you've been doing this for along time at that level. I wonder, however, have you ever taught in a public school system? I don't know if you were just talking so fast to make the video more "fluid" but you didn't have any breaks in your sentences when you spoke and it made it extremely difficult to follow along because it's as if you the entire video was one giant sentence. How am i suppose to try to make sense of one of your points when you are already onto your third point? You give no time what so ever to allow absorption of the points or information you are trying to discuss.

  68. Learning styles = How you get taught the information (visually, verbally, kinaesthetically)
    Processing style = How you process the information (visually, verbally, kinaesthetically)

    This study is proving that learning style's don't exist and I agree with that. But be aware of the following concept.

    For example, you can become taught the information in any learning style but how you process could be either mostly visually, verbally or kinaesthetically. So everyone has a particular processing style. For me, I am a visual processor.

    So as long as you have taken the information and have understood it.

    This difference should be clearly noted.

  69. Yeah, but how are educational gurus going to sell their books and programs? Phony research for any narrative can be created. I'm skeptical of everything I hear anymore in education.

    I was with it until Algeria lol

  70. I get that YES these "Learning Styles" are attempting to Label people once again as if someone is the same in each of these groups so definitely we shouldn't take it 100% serious but they've actually helped a lot of people including myself answer a lot of questions about themselves especially why they didn't do so well in The Education System, one of those of course being the mass Fraud happening all over the world that's affecting everything cos they're taking advantage of all the Funding they're being given, and the law that made building schools hard they changed it and made it too easy where anybody could just have a school built who aren't even qualified to run a school but they don't care (such as all the Medical Schools in India which is affecting all of The Medical Industry cos they were taught to just commit fraud, cheat and scam their way). We could ask for more support in schools but they don't want to… it's not in their interests so it's the main problem 😛 They've helped me answer a lot of questions about myself though and i feel that's because they pretty much spell out for us what happens with the different senses (Seeing, Hearing, Touching, Feeling).

    We use all our senses as humans YUP 😛 don't forget Intuition and Instinct but the "Learning Styles" are seriously accurate in explaining even Personality Traits in people who lean more towards one particular way of Learning and Understanding things and it's mentioned things i've done my whole life, the way i'm surprisingly super intuitive more than others, in ways more Emotionally Mature for my age and anyone at no matter what age i'm at and SO insightful even about myself. I seem to pick up quickly how to manage, work around things and what's needed to help me better i JUST know i'm right 🙂 very good with seeing Patterns in things and making Connections i've only just come across these "Learning Styles" in the past couple months yet i noticed these things about myself years ago.. even as a child i was strangely perceptive which goes with being more of a Visual Learner, defo quite smarter too.

    All the struggles i had in Schools even when i tried College trying to retain the information never worked (yes for a start they reword things stupidly on purpose and none of the work is realistic to real life), but it's true that the way most Teachers only teach in a Textual and Audible format is defo more difficult, yeh i'm fine with a Combination of Text, Audible and Visual but take the Visual out of the Equation and i'm MUCH slower, won't make the right Connections to what i already know cos i never even retained the knowledge TO make connections to 😛 yet every day i sit on my Computer and i'm retaining almost everything quickly and learning Math on Khan Academy it's working like a charm while in Schools? NOOP! i got stuck at things like Number Lines, harder Word Problems and didn't even understand Fractions cos i didn't understand and didn't retain anything before it and the pictures in the Textbooks had no colors.

    It's also the WAY things are explained and if it's not Clearer and more Concise i struggle and have to think about what your saying longer but again i won't retain it cos i'm weaker at information presented Textually and Audibly, i need ALL three things in the equation Textual, Audible AND Visual, i learn better with Colors too and LOVE the way Sal on Khan Academy Color Codes things 🙂 it's the same conclusion i came to when i got to Carrying Numbers when it got to the Hundreds place, also i write the FULL number above when Carrying NOT 10 for 100, 1 for 10, 4 for 40 etc… i just squeeze them in there cos if i don't it messes me up. I could NEVER even start to come up with solutions like this in Schools though cos of how Oppressive they are : it's a mess i've no idea how Teachers even follow what they're doing themselves probs can't. Nevertheless it's clear I DO learn more Visually and these "Learning Styles" aren't entirely bogus, just yeh… we HAVE to remember to not use them to Label and see it as adapting things to individual ways of Learning and Understanding.

  71. Interesting that he shows the incorrect model of the atom that has been clouding understanding for a hundred years. A mistake that supports his point.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *