No, you’re not a visual learner . . . the unproven world of learning styles.

A recent session on the learning styles of poor students inspired a bit of investigation about learning styles. What I found (or rather knew and now have literature to support) doesn’t bode well for those advocating essentialist notions of how students learn.

Several studies and meta-studies call into question the existence of learning styles, or at least the usefulness of teaching based on theories of learning styles. This is a rabbit hole, so read as you’re led.

A popular introduction to the problem of learning styles is here.
A scholarly overview of learning styles and the problems with existing studies are here.
A not-for-the-faint-of-heart scholarly review of 13 systems of learning styles, is here.


One thought on “No, you’re not a visual learner . . . the unproven world of learning styles.

  1. You’re brave to bring this up! Learning styles became a de facto popular theory, and has taken on a life of it’s own. There is NO good evidence that learning styles influence how much or how easily one learns, though there are certainly learning preferences. Pashler’s article (your 2nd link) is the best I’ve seen on the subject. If you have endless time and money, teaching the same topic in different ways is great – a way to accommodate individual preferences. However, it isn’t practical, and isn’t really necessary.

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