Learning Prompt #2

--Original published at Emily's college blog

I believe the video game industry should be criticized for the amount of violence and graphic displays of blood and gore.  I grew up with an older brother who always played video games but when I was very young, my parents would always try to make sure I wouldn’t watch what he was playing.  I never understood why my parents were so strict on protecting me from the video games, but as I got older, I started to understand more. In a way, video games are desensitizing the value of human life and the consequences of violence in real life.  Before video games or any type of violent entertainment, people were never exposed to this much level of violence.  Violence was viewed as a more serious issue because people would only witness it in real life situations.  When children are witnessing violence on a daily basis, it starts to become the new normal and children are not sensitive to it anymore.  When this happens, children are going to grow up to become more violent than the children who were never exposed to violence through their sources of entertainment. 

Although video game violence is an important issue that is being stressed in our society, I do not think people should call to permanently ban them.  Parents should be held accountable for buying and allowing their children to be exposed to this type of violence.  Once the child is older, they can start to make their own decisions on what they want to watch and play.  I do not know what age would be appropriate to allow children to play these games, but I do know that the game industries have put age limits on some of their games. This should be taken more seriously by parents because it could stop some of the violence being brought into our society and world by younger children who are being exposed to it more and more.  

Chapter 7 First Impression Prompts – Learning

Hand writing on a notebook

Here are the two prompts for this week. Regardless of which prompt you choose, please use the tag “Learning.”

Option 1:

BF Skinner passionately believed in the power of operant conditioning. He thought it was such a powerful influence that it proved free will is an illusion. See Skinner make this claim here. Respond to Skinner’s assertion that there is no such thing as free will. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Option 2:

Violence in the media has been controversial for decades, but over the last 20 years there has been increasing attention to the amount of violence in video games. The rise of first-person shooters and games with graphic displays of blood and gore has led to criticisms of the video game industry and claims that children are becoming more violent as a result. What is your perspective on violent video games? What do you think about calls to have them permanently banned?

I look forward to seeing what you write!

Header image: CC by Flickr user Caitlinator

Spotlight Post 1- Learning

--Original published at RachelsCollegeBlog

When I was growing up, I remember multiple times when I was given a survey and at the end the results would tell me the best way for me to retain information. I was labeled with two, visual and kinesthetic, so I was given different ways to study using which way I learned best. My teachers would also try and incorporate some of the styles into class, with reading out loud, showing pictures, or make us get up and move around while learning. However, there are many different studies on learning techniques and whether or not they help with success.

The Center for Teaching and Learning at Yale gives evidence that learning styles are a myth as it calls learning styles a neuromyth. Students have not reported learning better when using study methods given in their learning style category. The website also given some recommendations to replace learning styles with strategies and resources that will help them to better learn and understand concepts. This resource is credible as it is written by a well named university as well as includes many resources to better their argument.

Another source I found also refutes that idea that learning styles help those to better retain information. SAGE journals, has an article published that gives evidence that learning styles are not beneficial to students. There is “no adequate evidence” to express that learning styles needs to be integrated into educational systems and classrooms. This article is credible as it gives examples of true experiments that include random assignment to groups as well as multiple scholarly articles.

However, there is some data that supports the use of learning styles when it comes to retaining information and studying. There was a study conducted by the Productivity Environmental Preference Survey, that produced results expressing that those who studied using strategies from their learning style after being exposed to the information, did significantly better than those who barely or did not at all use the strategies of their learning style. This study is credible as they included a 2-control group and two sets of treatment groups, two treatment groups for each control group. The article was published on a credible site, American Psychological Association.

Another study that shows that learning styles are good to pay attention and should be included in a student’s life. This is another journal that was published on the American Psychological Association website. They assigned 104 nursing students to an experimental group. This group was given homework that was based on their learning style, while the other group of was just given the normal homework. These groups were equal when it came to SAT scores. They were given three periodic test and by the end of the year it showed that the experimental group who received treatment had higher grade and GPAs, and “lower anxiety and anger scores”. This expressing that those who utilize their learning styles will have less stress and better retain information allowing them to do better in classes. This study included control groups and

Based on my findings I would concluded that learning styles should not be payed attention to. There is not a lot of evidence that supports that learning styles are important and should be incorporated into students learning. I had a difficult time finding evidence that supports learning styles but found an abundant amount of evidence suggesting that learning styles do not make a big difference in the retaining of information for most students, as most of the time test scores didn’t not change when a certain learning style was incorporated into their education.




Learning Styles as a Myth | Center for Teaching and Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ctl.yale.edu/LearningStylesMyth

Pashler, H., Mcdaniel, M., Rohrer, D., & Bjork, R. (2008). Learning Styles. Psychological Science in the Public Interest,9(3), 105-119. doi:10.1111/j.1539-6053.2009.01038.x

Nelson, B., Dunn, R., Griggs, S. A., Primavera, L., et al. (1993). Effects of learning style intervention on college students retention and achievement. Journal of College Student Development, 34(5), 364-369.

Lenehan, M. C., Dunn, R., Ingham, J., Signer, B., et al. (1994). Effects of learning-style intervention on college students’ achievement, anxiety, anger, and curiosity. Journal of College Student Development, 35(6), 461-466.

Spotlight 1: Learning

--Original published at AlyssaM

The first source I found argues the importance of learning styles within the school system and the difference between each style. As the article puts it, “Knowing and understanding the use of specific learning styles such as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modes of learning can help the teacher give the best to their students” (Ellington & Benders). Students cannot learn fully if they are not learning in the way that best suits them. No body is the same and that includes the way they learn material. As a result, the teachers must do all they can to try to get through to each individual in the most effective way. “Although assessing students learning preferences can be time consuming and at times difficult, determining a child’s learning style can help them grow and succeed now and in the future” (Ellington & Benders). Given the fact, the article admits there are disadvantages to acknowledging the various styles within each student, helps show their credibility in that they are not trying to impress straight out – without considering the other argument. It is also credible because at the end it has many scholarly references that were used in constructing the article. Also it was a collaboration and not one author’s opinion. Many of those they cite within are from high-end Universities who are well educated on the topic.

The second source I found promoting the importance of recognizing the learning styles is credible. One way to tell is, it uses terms such as “naturalistic observation” and other related psychology terms.THerticle argues that environment also has an impact on learning styles and goes on to present data collected in different situations. It covers the benefits that come from tending to each individual and states it also does good for the teacher or instructor. It goes on to say how teachers can apply techniques to the classrooms based off of the data they collected in their research that can reach more than one specific type of learner.

On the other hand, source 3 argues:

While all learners can develop subjective preferences for studying or digesting material, studies deny that students learn better through a self-reported learning style. Instead, scholars increasingly call for educators to replace ‘neuromyths’ with resources and strategies rooted in evidence from cognitive and adult learning theory (“Learning Styles as a Myth)

It provides a lot of data stating there are so many branches of learning that are not even considered. Their data from research is presented in a list with shorter paragraphs than the other two sources. One reason it it credible, is because it is published on the website of Yale. It is clear the researchers really looked deep into the topic to make their decision.

Source 4 claims, “While there is a wealth of information, very few experiments provide the capability of studying the validity of learning styles” (“Learning Myths vs Learning Facts”). In simple terms it goes on to explain how they studied the experiment and measured the different perspectives of learning and why they say it is a myth. It is credible in that is came from a psychology web page, but it does not provide a lot of incite on the topic as the other sources have.

I believe that learning styles are real and are vital to getting the best out of learning. Reading the sources only strengthened that belief.

CITATIONS in order of mention in post:

Ellington, Shannon & Benders, David. 2012. Learning Style and it’s importance in Education.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256022625_Learning_Style_and_it’s_importance_in_Education

Romanelli, Frank, et al. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 19 Feb. 2009, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2690881/.

“Learning Styles as a Myth | Center for Teaching and Learning.” Why Are There Different Citation Styles? | Center for Teaching and Learning, ctl.yale.edu/LearningStylesMyth.

“Learning Myths vs. Learning Facts.” Psych Learning Curve, 17 July 2017, psychlearningcurve.org/learning-myths-vs-learning-facts/.

Spotlight 1: Learning

--Original published at Carly's College Blog

The concept of learning styles has been critiqued for years now on whether they are valid or just a myth. Many students across all grades claim to have a specific learning style. It could be, visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or another. Teachers tend to use these learning styles to cater the way they teach materials to students, which some seem to think actually has little to no effect on the students success at all. It could actually be problematic instead of beneficial.

In an article published by The Atlantic, the author presents studies and literary articles about this theory. One scholarly article that is presented is taken from The Generalist’s Corner, by the Society for the Teaching of Psychology. Authors Willingham, Hughes, and Dobolyi, all psychology professors, argue that learning styles are preferences, not differences in a student’s ability. They believe learning styles are invalid. They state that the main reason people believe in learning styles is because it is “scientific,” but they do not realize the lack of scientific evidence that would back up the theory. The authors agree that teachers should focus on the similarities in the mind’s of students to improve their teaching rather than the differences. In another study published by The Atlantic in the journal of educational psychology, authors Rogowsky, Calhoun, and Tallal state that in their study, they found no correlation between the student learning styles and test performance. Instead of aiding towards a student’s preference, they should be strengthening all aspects of the student’s learning styles. I completely agree with the finding of these two studies. I agree that learning styles are problematic and the claims in these studies identify for me the lack of scientific evidence in which I had thought there was plenty of. They were mostly focused on convincing the reader that learning styles are false, but did highlight a few components of “strengths” learning styles could theoretically have.

With the overwhelming amount of scientific evidence against learning styles, some people still believe in them and their ability to improve a student’s learning. The website Educational Research under newsletter and webinar, have an article dedicated to “The Importance of Understanding Individual Learning Styles” based on an article written by psychologist Robert Sternberg.  Robert Sternberg even says that “Styles of thinking and learning are as important as intellectual ability, and ignoring students’ thinking styles puts teaching and learning in jeopardy.” He argues that students tend to be more interested in activities geared towards their learning styles, and when they are not, it “profoundly” effects them. He also argues that when a student performs poorly on an assignment, we must look at his learning style instead of concluding the student may be unmotivated or have a lack in ability. One last claim Sternberg makes is that “be aware of a natural bias toward our own personal style in order to avoid unconsciously penalizing students who do not match us in learning style.” After reading this, I thought it was very interesting how even literal psychologists disagree on the topic and both have strong research and knowledge to back up their own claims. I figured that all psychologists would either be for or against the use of learning styles in the classroom, not they themselves, would also be in disagreement.

An article on Research Gate leads to a literary review done by two professors on how technology effects learning styles now that it has become prominent in education. Its main points focus on the fact that learning styles do improve classroom success, especially with the use of technology. I think technology has its own pros and cons in terms of education and actually disagree that it could be considered a learning style even though some students do prefer it over physical books.

In my opinion, I think both sides of the articles have valid points. I am, however, against learning styles. I feel that, along with the articles from The Atlantic, learning styles deprive students from other forms of learning. I think education should use all forms of approach to strengthen a well rounded student.


Khazan, O. (2018, April). The Myth of “Learning Styles”. Retrieved from The Atlantic website: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/04/the-myth-of-learning-styles/557687/

Willingham, D., Hughes, E., Dobolyi, D. (2015). The Scientific Status of Learning Style Theories. The Teaching of Psychology, 42(3), 266-271. DOI: 10.1177/0098628315589505. Retrieved from: https://career.ucsf.edu/sites/career.ucsf.edu/files/Article%20UCSF%20SEJC%20January%202017.pdf

Rogowsky, B., Calhoun, B., Tallal, P. (2015). Matching Learning Style to Instructional Method: Effects on Comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 107(1), 64-78. Retrieved from: https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/features/edu-a0037478.pdf

Educational Research: Newsletters & Webinars. (n.d.). The Importance of Understanding Individual Learning Styles. Retrieved from : https://www.ernweb.com/educational-research-articles/the-importance-of-understanding-individual-learning-styles/

Ellington, S., Benders, D. (2012, June). Learning Style and It’s Importance in Education. Retrieved from the ResearchGates website: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256022625_Learning_Style_and_it%27s_importance_in_Education






Spotlight Prompt 1

--Original published at Chey's Blog

I spent many years not knowing what my learning style was. I struggled to find the right way to teach myself material. I did very well in school, but when it came to tests and exams I did not know how to teach myself how to memorize material. Most of my teachers thought that it was very important to know my learning style, but I had no idea why. They only taught in a way that they understood. So, I decided to explore the concept of learning styles because of this.

In an article published by ERN it was said that, “styles of thinking and learning are just as important as intellectual ability… And ignoring students’ thinking styles…puts teaching and learning in jeopardy” (Kappan 2). Many educators are told this exact statement. A lot of time and effort is focused on finding the learning styles of students or having students find their own learning styles. Another article published by Teach stated, “It is important for educators to understand the differences in their students’ learning styles, so that they can implement best practice strategies into their daily activities, curriculum and assessments” (Teach 1). So, the main focus is on educators finding the learning styles of their students and not the students finding that out for themselves. Both sources seem to be credible blogs directed mainly towards educators.

On the opposite side, many people believe learning styles should not be focused on. According to an APS article it’s shown that, “although numerous studies have purported to show the existence of different kinds of learners (such as “auditory learners” and “visual learners”), those studies have not used the type of randomized research designs  that would make their findings credible” (APS 3). So, the testing to find learning styles wasn’t done in a way that could be seen as credible in the first place. The article later talks about how people should not be put into one specific learning category or another and how they are often a mix of different learning styles, which I agree with. In another article published by The Atlantic it says virtually the same thing- that learning styles do not exist because not everybody can be put into one category of learning.

Overall I agree with the opposing side. I do not think that learning styles really exist. I learn in several different ways and was never placed into a specific category. I do not think that an educator basing their entire teaching methods off of the ‘learning styles’ of students would help in any way.






Spotlight Post #1– Learning

--Original published at Garrettscollegeblog

For all of high school and now even into college, many students use a similar excuse when receiving a poor grade. They say, “This teacher just doesn’t cater to my style of learning!” A large amount of students and teachers stress this idea that students possess specific learning styles, which allow for a greater understanding as well as further retention. They feel that if the teacher fails to gratify the needs of the student, then the student will not succeed. Others, however, do not believe in the idea of specific learning styles. They believe that narrowing learning to one specific style potentially harms and damages the learner.

Shannon Ellington and David S. Benders published a literature review that discusses the importance of learning styles. The review proceeds to address the many advantages that flow from teachers addressing specific styles. The point they discuss the most focuses attention to studies showing the importance of matching teaching styles to learning styles. Each study expressed an increase in class enjoyment and involvement when learning styles paired with the teaching style. Along with that, the studies showed higher achievement and willingness to learn in these congruent situations between student and teacher.

How You Learn presented by the University of Minnesota leans its focus towards the importance of learning styles in a college setting. In college, classrooms are much more student-oriented than teacher-oriented. With that, students possess the ability to approach each class with their specific style of learning to fulfill their potential to succeed. For example, a visual and reading/writing learner will take in depth notes from individual reading as well as graphs and charts shown in class. This article continues on and gives tips to students when experiencing an assignment or lecture that contradicts their specific style, such as an auditory learner being asked to do a hands-on experiment.

Many people tend to believe that these specific learning styles fail to maximize retention and memory. The Atlantic published an article titled “The myths of ‘learning styles’” that denies the idea that learning styles actually aid in memory. The article discusses a study published in the British Journal of Psychology that finds no correlation between learning style and information retention. The subjects in the study suggest that auditory learners remember words better whereas visual learners remember pictures better. After reviewing the study the author writes, “Essentially, all the ‘learning style’ meant, in this case, was that the subjects liked words or pictures better, not that words or pictures worked better for their memories.”(khazan, 10)

“The Concept of Different ‘Learning Styles’ is one of the Greatest Neuroscience Myths” by Olivia Goldhill of Quartz critiques the myth of learning styles in education. In the article, Goldhill quotes Harold Pashler, a psychology professor at UC San Diego, who says, “Although the literature on learning styles in enormous, very few studies have even used an experimental methodology capable of testing learning styles applied to education. Moreover, of those who did use an appropriate method, several found results that flatly contradict the popular meshing hypothesis.” This quote fully exposes the idea as a myth. Lack of evidence makes learning styles in educational practice useless.

In my opinion, learning styles are a myth that can potentially damage the learner. The second paragraph in this post mentions studies in support of learning styles. The fifth paragraph then addresses these studies and research shows that these studies lack validity and the ability to make causal claims. On the topic of damaging the learner, if a person is prevented from the learning styles in education because they are being catered to their preferred style, the person lacks the ability to learn in the other styles. This can cause major problems outside of education when a person must learn something new for a job or as a parent.


Ellington, Shannon & Benders, David. (2012). Learning Style and it’s importance in Education.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256022625_Learning_Style_and_it’s_importance_in_Education.


[Authors removed at request of original publisher]. “College Success.” University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing, University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing Edition, 2016. This Edition Adapted from a Work Originally Produced in 2010 by a Publisher Who Has Requested That It Not Receive Attribution., 4 Dec. 2015, open.lib.umn.edu/collegesuccess/chapter/1-3-how-you-learn/.


Khazan, Olga. “The Myth of ‘Learning Styles’.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 12 Apr. 2018, www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/04/the-myth-of-learning-styles/557687/.


Goldhill, Olivia. “The Concept of Different ‘Learning Styles’ Is One of the Greatest Neuroscience Myths.” Quartz, Quartz, 4 Jan. 2016, qz.com/585143/the-concept-of-different-learning-styles-is-one-of-the-greatest-neuroscience-myths/.









Learning Styles– Are they a myth?

--Original published at Makayla Hockenbrock

There are many opinions out there about learning styles and whether one is better than the other. Many studies have been conducted to show if this truly is a myth or a fact. Teachers try and alter their ways of teaching to try and make the learning environment for the students better. There are many types of learning styles including kinesthetic, auditory, and visual. When children are younger, sometimes they are asked to take this test to determine what kind of learner they are. I remember having to take this test in the fifth grade. Not every child in the class got the same results because everyone learns differently. With that being said, a teacher could not simply teach with the focus of one learning style. This did not come to my attention until later in life when I realized how much pressure is on a teacher to be able to accommodate all the different ways children learn. So, if a child does not grasp a concept, is it the child’s fault, or is it because the teacher did not present the information in the context of that child’s learning style? Or are learning styles in deed just a myth?

 According to an article written by Bettina Brown, teachers teach the way they themselves learn information. Teachers obviously have been through a sufficient amount of schooling to get where they are. They also have been through the process of how to study efficiently and effectively. Since they have had that much experience, it is not shocking to me that they would teach with that same style. So, if teachers teach the way they learn, the question arises what the outcome may be if the learning style of a child matches the teaching style of the teacher. A study looking at this in high school students, found that the same two styles was more beneficial to vocational students and the mismatching of styles was more beneficial to field-dependent students. David Kolb, the one who is credited for starting the movement of learning styles, has said that “it is more effective to design curriculum so that there is some way for learners of every learning style to engage with the topic, so that every type of learner has an initial way to connect with the material.” Once that is met, a teacher can then work on stretching that learning style, so the child’s learning capability can expand. Children need to learn to be adjust their learning styles so that when they change teachers, they can still learn the information presented well.

 A study that was done on eleventh grade science students, using the inductive guided inquiry learning model, showed that the model influenced the students’ learning activities and achievement in the scientific field. The results showed that the convergers and assimilators presented steady performance improvement on observing, questioning, and design experiment, compared to the students who were considered divergers and accommodators. The model influenced the cognitive learning achievements, however, only convergers showed higher post test scores. This study showed that the learning model did showed sufficient improvement in the performances of the children, from all learning styles, in the scientific setting. This study shows that learning styles can be supported as helpful when it comes to a child grasping information in the field of science. In reference to that finding, it is then important to pay attention to the students learning styles so that they are able to get the best outcome of their education.

 In contrast, an article from Yale University states that there is an overwhelming agreement among scholars that there is no scientific proof that backs up the statement of learning styles matching teaching styles is what’s best. Also mentioned in the article, it says studies reject that students learn better through a self-reported learning style. It is then recommended that teachers take a wider approach to teaching which calls students to reflect on their learning and not focus on a specific learning style, which has shown to improve the learning outcome. For example, teachers can help a student differentiate studying styles and learning processes. That then will allow the students to choose their own preferences.

 In the International Journal of Instruction, Ivana Cimermanova presents findings on a study of the effect of learning styles on academic achievement in different forms of teaching. The researched examined the potential relation between learning styles and the form of teaching, as well as, the academic achievement of students. The study mentioned how now-a-days, technology has become a big part of education to enhance the learning experience of the children. The study conducted consisted of a group of online students and in-class students. To collect data, the Grasha-Riechmann Student Learning Style Scales was applied. At the end, once the data was collected, a Pearson correlation analysis was performed, and significant correlation only showed between competitive learning style and academic achievement in the online group. The findings from this study were as follow: “learning styles have no significant effect on academic achievement, form of teaching has no significant effect on academic achievement”, and lastly, “students with different learning styles do not statistically significantly differ in their academic performance based on the form of their study.”

 After researching this topic, I now have a new perspective to learning styles. I used to think that they were important and that I should think of how I learn best when it comes to preparation for exams and so forth. Now, I think it really doesn’t matter how I learn best, but how the information is presented to me from the teacher. Based on my findings, I believe learning styles could be a myth.



Cimermanová, I. ivana. cimermanova@unipo. s. (2018). The Effect of Learning Styles on Academic Achievement in Different Forms of Teaching. International Journal of Instruction, 11(3), 219–232. https://doi.org/10.12973/iji.2018.11316a

Sudria, I. B. N. ibnsudria@gmail. co., Wayan Redhana, I. 2. redhana. undiksha@gmail. co., Made Kirna, I. 1. mdkirna@gmail. co., & Aini, D. ainiidiahh@gmail. co. (2018). Effect of Kolb’s Learning Styles under Inductive Guided-Inquiry Learning on Learning Outcomes. International Journal of Instruction, 11(1), 89–102. https://doi.org/10.12973/iji.2018.1117a

Learning Styles as a Myth | Center for Teaching and Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ctl.yale.edu/LearningStylesMyth

Brown, B. L. (2003). Teaching Style vs. Learning Style. Myths and Realities.

Spotlight Blog Post: Learning Styles​​​

--Original published at Jayln's Perspective

As I read over the two options for the Spotlight Blog Post, I was flooded with a memory from the sixth grade. I can remember being forced to take a test which evaluated whether I was a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner. After seeing my results, I remember my teacher telling me that I was “shockingly auditory,” which meant I was not a mix of two learning styles, like most of my classmates; I pretty much just fell into one category. As I went through high school, I thought I was simply an auditory learner, and that is what I based my study habits and techniques around. Now, as I look back on my experience, it is interesting to see how much pressure was put on my teachers to specialize their lesson plans to adhere with the specific types of “learners” that were present in the classroom. Over the years, many teachers, parents, and scholars have taken sides on whether or not learning styles are relevant to consider when making lesson plans, or if they are simply just myths.

On the University of San Diego website, there is an article posted called, “One Classroom, many Learning Styles: Strategies for Teachers.” This article communicates to teachers how critical it is that they successfully determine which learning styles are represented in their class to ensure their lessons plans are effective. Instead of using the typical “VARK” questionnaire to determine if a student is a visual, auditory, reading, or kinesthetic learner, they use the seven intelligences (founded by Howard Gardener). Gardener proposes that in a classroom setting, students can be labeled: visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic, or logical. Instead of believing that children can only be one type of learner, they theorize that children are stronger in one area but can also use other styles to understand new information. This website encourages teachers to use a student-centered approach. The teachers ultimately have authority in the classroom, but it is their job to assist students in learning with the styles that are specific to them.

“Understanding the Importance of Learning Styles,”  published on More 4 kids, is another highly supportive article. The author of this article is a mother who homeschooled her children, so it provides a different perspective than the last article. As she homeschooled her children, the author found that by adapting how she taught, based on their learning styles, was not only reflected in their academic performance, but it also made the process better for everyone. She stresses to teachers that if they neglect to understand how a child learns, it can result in conflict and even an inappropriate diagnosis (such as Attention Deficit Disorder). The author explains that she arrived at this conclusion because of her own experience teaching her two boys. As she began schooling her eldest son, who happened to be a visual learner, she thought that the techniques she used with him would also be effective for her youngest son. However, the youngest son was much more difficult because he was not performing well and he could not physically sit still. After being told by their family doctor that he should go on medication for ADD, the author decided to do some research of her own. She concluded that her son might be a kinesthetic learner, and all the visual techniques were frustrating for him.

Olga Khaazan, an award-winning staff writer for The Atlantic, argues against the use of learning styles in the classroom because they are simply ineffective. Khaazan begins, “The Myths of ‘Learning Styles,'” by discussing how Niel Fleming’s development of the “VARK” model gained its momentum during the self-esteem movement (the 90s). In the classroom, teachers were taught to view children like special individuals who had a unique learning style associated with them. As a result, the lessons should have been geared toward a specific learning style in order for struggling children to make sense of the material. She continues to critique how students grow up believing they already know how they learn, and since they feel defined by a certain learning style, they often get complacent in the classroom, and they develop bad habits when it comes to effective studying. Khaazan draws attention to the research of Daniel Willingham, a psychologist at the Univerity of Virginia, and Polly Husmann, a professor at Indiana Univerity to help support her claims against learning styles. To test the effectiveness of studying in a way that is specific to a learning style, Husmann had hundreds of students take the “VARK” questionnaire. After the students figured out how they supposedly learned best, they could choose whether or not they would apply the recommended strategies. As Husmann predicted, the students did not see improvements to their exam scores. Willingham theorized that by only catering to one learning style in the classroom, “educators may actually be doing a disservice” to the students because they are limiting the importance of other skills (theatlantic.com).

On the American Psychological Association website, Blake Harvard shares his negative opinions on learning styles, but instead of just critiquing the concept of learning styles like the last article, he takes it one step further by presenting more effective alternatives. Harvard starts by discussing that even though learning styles are no longer the backbone that gives structure to the classroom like they use to be, many institutions still wrongfully rely on them to shape their curriculum.  As an educator, Harvard was always asked to reach all the learning styles when he was teaching a lesson, but after a while, he realized that there was very little scientific evidence that supported learning styles. Instead, he began to research learning strategies that would be more effective in the classroom and were actually proven to reach children. Three examples of research learning strategies are retrieval practice, distributed practice, and interleaved practice. These are just a few examples of what student can do instead of focusing on studying one ineffective way. When a student uses the skill of retrieval instead of staring blankly at notecards, they are more effectively studying by attempting to retrieve information from their memory. These types of learning strategies require a student to be actively studying instead of just staring at a term and not connecting other information to it.

Before reading all of this research, I had always believed that learning styles were a necessary part of every child’s education. After gaining all of this newfound knowledge, I now see that there is actually very little scientific research that supports learning styles. As a “shockingly auditory” learner, I would tend to disregard any type of visual or kinesthetic learning strategies, and now as a college student, I see how this may have hurt me. I am currently adapting my study habits to include all type of strategies because each one is necessary when attempting to retain information. Instead of listening to youtube videos on certain topics like I did all through high school, I am now making charts and spending more time invested in the textbooks. It is important that all types of learning are integrated into the classroom so that schools produce well-rounded individuals who can problem solve, analyze, time manage, etc.



Harvard, Blake. “Learning Myths vs. Learning Facts.” Psych Learning Curve, 17 July 2017, psychlearningcurve.org/learning-myths-vs-learning-facts/.

Khazan, Olga. “The Myth of ‘Learning Styles’.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 12 Apr. 2018, http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/04/the-myth-of-learning-styles/557687/.

More4kids. “Understanding the Importance of Learning Styles.” Homeschooling Education Learning and Reading Resources, More4kids International, 10 Mar. 2011, education.more4kids.info/77/understanding-learning-styles/#respond.

“Teaching to Every Student’s Unique Learning Style.” University of San Diego, 5 Jan. 2018, onlinedegrees.sandiego.edu/teaching-to-every-students-unique-learning-style/.







Spotlight Blog 1 Prompts – Fall 2018

Regardless of which option you choose, make sure to use the tag “Spotlight” on your post. Also include the tag listed for the option you choose below.

Option 1 – Use the tag “Development”

As divorce has become more and more common in the US, the number of children affected by divorce has increased greatly. The effects of divorce on children are controversial and there are a number of opinions out there on just what is “best” for kids. If you select this option, I want you to find two credible sources that argue divorce is inherently harmful to children and two credible sources that argue children can come through a divorce without serious consequences. Make sure to assess the arguments and supporting data presented in each source, explain what makes the source credible, and state which side of the issue you think is correct based on your reading. Make sure to list all sources at the end of your post.

Option 2 – Use the tag “Learning”

The idea of learning styles has become very popular over the last 20 years. There are tests that claim to identify what type of learner you are so you can customize your learning and studying to maximize your retention. Educators have increasingly been asked to cater their teaching to be more inclusive of learning styles as students have been labeled as visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or other types of learners. While there are many proponents of this approach to education, there are also many people arguing this focus on one type of learning for students is problematic and potentially harmful. If you select this option, I want you to find two credible sources that argue learning styles are important to pay attention to and two credible sources that argue learning styles are a myth. Make sure to assess the arguments and supporting data presented in each source, explain what makes the source credible, and state which side of the issue you think is correct based on your reading. Make sure to list all sources at the end of your post.

I look forward to seeing what you write!

Header image: CC by Flickr user Thomas Hawk