Learning Styles, ha, ha, ha, ha

Jay Cross, Research in Learning Technology, Apr 12, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I still think there's something to the basaic idea of learning styles, but the most effective criticism that can be levied against them is offered here, as Jay Cross reviews some of the dozens of dichotomies that define different learning styles theories. Of course the problem is not limited to learning styles, as Creating Categories and Drawing Distinctions continue to be the dominant forms of Education Research (properly so-called) resulting in 'this taxonomy' and 'those criteria' whether they be of pedagogies, literacies or schools of thought (and hence the deep-seeded need to define 'open' or 'course' ratrher than to serve up examples of good technology (or even technique) for actually doing it. Meanwhile, regarding the criticism of learning styles, the fact that researchers do not yet understand the domain does not entail that there is no understanding to be had. There may yet be reserach that validates the intuitive understanding that the way people learn may have an impact on how well people learn. But yeah, not yet. Not by a long shot.

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