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***Students (and tutors) do need to better understand themselves as
learners and to understand individual differences in others. But is
teaching them about their learning style the best approach?***

Are you suggesting they learn through experience, i.e. trial and error?
Perhaps content courses can offer more opportunities for that trial and
error approach. However, I believe that effectiveness in application
increases with basic knowledge or terminology i.e. 'how do I function or
learn best?'.

What suggestions do others have to obtain a learning outcome of students
better understanding themselves without teaching them?

Tammy Pratt

-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Cynthia Peterson
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2005 5:10 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: More on learning styles

I enjoyed the learning styles discussion!  Over the years, I've come to
think
about learning styles in two
ways.

First, modifying instruction to accommodate a student's modality
strength
seems not to be effective.
See Daniel T. Willingham in his Ask the Cognitive Scientist Column in
American
Educator, Summer 05:
http://www.aft.org/pubs-reports/american_educator/issues/summer2005/cogs
ci.htm
where he describes "some of the research on matching modality strength
to the
modality of
instruction," and "why the idea of tailoring instruction to a student's
best
modality is so enduring-
despite substantial evidence that it is wrong.

Second, teaching students about learning styles might be at the expense
of
teaching something else
more valid.  Students (and tutors) do need to better understand
themselves as
learners and to
understand individual differences in others. But is teaching them about
their
learning style the best
approach? In the latest Buros' Mental Measurements Yearbook (a
psychometric
standard), none of the
learning styles instruments that I checked received favorable reviews.

Cynthia Peterson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Reading Education
Department of Curriculum & Instruction
Texas State University-San Marcos
San Marcos, Texas 78666

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