Are Learning Styles a Myth? Post on the IDA, April 2016

What seems to be the commonly recognized and employed practice in schools of accommodating for students’ different learning styles is not as highly regarded in the academic field. Studies published in recent years have brought attention to the research and conclusions drawn about learning styles, some even calling learning styles a ‘neuroscience myth.’ A brief article published on the IDA’s website in April 2016 nicely summarizes the major publications and commentary on the subject. “Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence,” a publication by Pashler et al. in the Journal of the Association for Psychological Science (December 2008, Vol. 9) criticizes the lack of evidence supporting the ‘meshing hypothesis,’ where instruction tailored to fit a student’s learning preferences results in a better learning experience. Pashler et al. also point out the lack of experimental-based studies that would help confirm or deny the positive results of learning styles. Six years later, publications such a “The Scientific Status of Learning Styles Theories” Jby Willingham et al. (in Teaching of Psychology, July 2015) maintain these conclusions, and Willingham et al. suggest that educators should spend their time on different instructional foci rather than continuing to accommodate for different learning styles or “preferences.”

Visit the IDA website to read their take on ‘neuroscience myth’ publications and get directed to more articles and publications that comment on learning styles. All of this said, at DyslexiaHelp we do think that dyslexics should pursue areas of interests that utilize their strengths as this will increase the likelihood that they will pursue careers in which they will excel and find rewarding.