Why Is the Research on Learning Styles Still Being Dismissed by Some Learning Leaders and Practitioners?

Why Oh Why Won’t This Myth Die?

LS Research Still Ignored

Read the full eLearn Magazine article from November 2011 – here.

Learning Styles?

From my PLN:

Harold Stolovitch says, “more than 25 years of research on this and related themes have not provided any form of conclusive evidence that matching the form of instruction to learning style improved learning or even attention.”

Dick (Richard E.) Clark writes, “Three major reviews of the research on learning styles have been published in top journals in the past decade. All of them have reached the same conclusion. Learning styles do not predict learning under different instructional conditions. There are no “visual” or “verbal” learners etc. “


Richard Pearlstein writes of his personal experience with some research, “No significant differences in acquisition or retention were discovered across groups regardless of enlistees’ preferences for particular learning styles. This finding, resulting from methodologically rigorous research—in which I played a long, boring supporting role—vividly illustrated to me the trouble with learning styles: They don’t work. Many hundreds of studies later, the concept of training styles won’t die.”

Ruth Clark stated, “I still get a lot of reaction when I present the learning styles myth at conferences etc.”

Will Thalheimer writes, “The psychological science review is especially damning I think. “

Allison Rossett asks “why have generations of educators glommed on to learning styles when the research is settled or pretty darn so?”

I followed up with those “in the moment responses” – talk about the immediacy of responses from one’s personal professional network – WOW! – in less than one day I had those noteworthy folks provide their inputs – with some content I have archived on this web site…

A Romantic, As Opposed To Rational, View Of Education

Sigmund Tobias has written about those who still believe despite the evidence for me before, for my Summer 2001 Newsletter: Pursuing Performance

“I can only conclude that they adhere to what Jeanne Chall (2000) in her last book called a romantic, as opposed to rational, view of education. Chall cites other romantic notions that have little verified empirical support such as the whole-language approach to reading instruction, open education, and discovery learning, to name only a few. Sometimes an idea may appear so logical, and/or so deeply related to the values held by individuals, that it becomes an article of faith. Believers cling to their fancies irrespective of research findings. I wish they would develop a similar fixation about the Brooklyn Bridge, because I would love to sell it to them again and again….”

CADDI 2001 Summer Pursuing Performance Newsletter

Back to the November 2011 eLearn Article

I ask about the Intuitive and Counter-Intuitive nature of the topic and then answer that with a personal story, “Do people just fail in general to let data influence their opinions? Or is it mostly when the data contradicts what personally just seems logical and intuitive?”

Read the full eLearn Magazine article from November 2011 – here.

Avoid the Foo Foo

There is too much Foo Foo in L&D – IMO.

This one – this Foo Foo – is even found within the Certification Program operated by a group that you would hope would simply know better. Ah – but it sells. It has IMO “face validity” – and for too many that’s simply good enough.

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Read more articles on the topic of Learning Styles as Foo Foo listed elsewhere in this web site – here.

a Foo Foo Web Banner - Verticle

In an era of tight resources, it is more important than ever to avoid the fads and foo foo in human talent management and development…

… so … again … still …

Why Is the Research on Learning Styles Still Being Dismissed by Some Learning Leaders and Practitioners?

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5 comments on “Why Is the Research on Learning Styles Still Being Dismissed by Some Learning Leaders and Practitioners?

  1. Pingback: The Learning Styles Merry Go Round Video Compilation 2020 | Son of Pursuing Performance

  2. Pingback: T&D: Learning Styles Are Bogus | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  3. Pingback: L&D: My Learning Style Preference: Osmosis Learning | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  4. The myth lives on because it has truthiness. It’s simple, appealing, and sounds as if it might be right. Stephen Colbert: “Truthiness is what you want the facts to be, as opposed to what the facts are. What feels like the right answer as opposed to what reality will support.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Reflections on 3 Newsletter Articles of Note From the Summer of 2001 | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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