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Learning styles in the classroom: Educational benefit or planning exercise?

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Abstract

Differentiation of teaching is encouraged to accommodate student diversity. This study investigated whether using learning styles as a basis for differentiation improved A-level student performance, compared to differentiation on the basis of academic ability. Matched classes of A-level psychology students participated. In one class, learning activities were differentiated by academic ability; in the other class, learning activities were differentiated by learning style for nine weeks, followed by a further class test. Student understanding of learning styles was also investigated. Both classes significantly improved from baseline to final test, but there was no significant difference in improvement between the two groups, and indeed a slight trend for more improvement following differentiation by ability. Further research into personalised learning is required, and suggestions are made for a student-focussed intervention to enable students to better understand and to employ their own learning styles as a tool for independent study.

Citation

(2010). Learning styles in the classroom: Educational benefit or planning exercise?. Psychology Teaching Review, 67 -77

Acceptance Date Mar 1, 2010
Publication Date Oct 1, 2010
Journal Psychology Teaching Review
Print ISSN 0965-948X
Publisher The British Psychological Society
Pages 67 -77
Keywords psychology, education, pedagogy, learning styles
Publisher URL https://shop.bps.org.uk/psychology-teaching-review-vol-16-no-2-2010

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