What? Learning Styles Don't Exist?!!!

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Hey, did I get your attention?!

I find this controversial learning topic very interesting. After reading Brain Rules a few years ago I believe I was already personally convinced that the accepted theories around the importance of learning styles in educational design that I had been previously taught weren’t necessarily a proven fact. Since then, I’ve been at conferences where presenters even make fun of the idea of learning styles as an archaic idea that noone believes anymore. So, I also found it interesting when I was at an ASTD meeting last week and a woman who calls herself a “Learning Futurist” on her business card began talking to me about learning styles in MOOCs …

I’d say the jury’s still out about learning styles and I thought this might be an interesting conversation for the Learning Network to have. What do you think about learning styles?

Here is a video from Daniel Willingham, Cognitive Psychologist, claiming that Learning Styles Do Not Exist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIv9rz2NTUk

Other resources on Learning Styles:

•Are Learning Styles a Myth – from Education.com http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Are_Learning_Styles_Myth/

•Learning Styles Don’t Matter Who Knew? – from Educatis blog https://words.usask.ca/gmcte/2012/08/16/learning-styles-dont-matter-who-knew/

•Do Learning Styles Matter for Education – from Psychology Todayhttp://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/keep-it-in-mind/201308/do-learning-styles-matter-learning

When organizations start investing in defining and measuring against performance outcomes rather than learner reactions, we can stop worrying about the validity of learning styles, and turn instead to what organizations really want out of learning – employees who learn, retain and use what they’ve learned from the training on the job.

Jennifer Hofman

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