Lit Review Essay

Submitted By Roman089
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Pages: 6

Literature Review Is learning styles relevant despite being deemed irrelevant and ineffective by researchers? According to Steve A. Stahl, the author of the Article, “Different Strokes For Different Folks” in an article published in 1999 by the American Educator, learning styles is only irrelevant and ineffective, due to the poor research and failed studies. He express, “The reason researchers roll their eyes at learning styles is the utter failure to find that assessing children’s learning styles and matching to instructional methods has any effect on their learning.” In fact Stahl says that the most studied areas of learning styles were the global (or visual) and analytic (or auditory). To prove this Stahl examined five studies that were made throughout 1978 to 1992 with each of them having a verdict which correlates with each other; there is no accurate way of finding out a child learning style, and even if it’s possible, it would not enhance their learning ability. Stahl went on to suggest that researchers should try to find other solutions for finding out a child learning style, which can be found by simply looking at the concept of learning styles from a different point of view as he explain, “There are other ways of looking at learning styles. People have proposed that children vary not only in perceptual styles, but on a host of different dimensions. To name a few, people have suggested that children are either two-dimensional/three-dimensional, simultaneous/sequential, connecting/compartmentalizing, inventing/reproducing, reflective/impulsive, field dependent/field independent, and so on.” Learning inventories is the next subject Stahl wrote about, as he points out the major faults with these inventories, as the questions being asked in the inventories seems very specific at first glance, but is really too broad to actually find an individual’s learning style and in some instances, learning styles itself would not become a choice since many folks can only learn in one way as he states, “Similarly, nearly everybody would agree that one learns more about playing tennis from playing than from watching someone else play. Again, this does not mean that people are tactile/kinesthetic, but that this is how one learns to play sports. Many of these “learning styles” are not really choices, since common sense would suggest that there would not be much variance among people.” Another fault Stahl notes is the fact these inventories doesn’t cater to children who don’t have that great of a reading ability. This means that the inventories would still try to categorize the children into being a global (visual) or analytic (auditory) learner, despite the fact the child doesn’t have that great of a learning ability at all.
So is the test reliable? According to Stahl, these tests would be very reliable, and in fact they people who take them would score reasonably high on them, but in end this Stahl states that this test wouldn’t be reliable due to fact that most children would have to be on the same reading level in order to get the same result, as he claims, “If a test is reliable, that means you are going to get the same (or close to the same) results every time you administer it. If a test is 100 percent reliable (or has a reliability coefficient of 1.0), then a person will score exactly the same on Thursday as on Tuesday. This is a problem, not only with inventories, but with any measure that asks subjects to report about themselves.” Another problem Stahl mention would be that a learning style of a person can randomly change from time to time, which can disturb the way that person are being taught. Stahl then suggests what he feels could be a solution, which is to think about efficient ways of teaching students when it comes to certain milestones in their life, other than only trying to find out what learning style that child is accustomed to.

In the article, “Learning Styles: Fact and Fiction – A…