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ERIC Number: ED424287
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Jul-20
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Identifying Learning Styles.
Gordon, Howard R. D.
Learning style is a factor researchers claim influences student educational performance. This article summarizes information about student learning styles. The idea of learning styles is based on the theory that there are different methods of gathering, organizing, and evaluating information. Research has not produced conclusive evidence about learning styles, but there is information about learning conditions and cognitive learning styles that can provide some insight into learning styles. One area to consider is that of learning conditions. Many environmental factors can affect a person's ability to concentrate and absorb and retain information. Another approach is to determine a person's cognitive learning style, based on how information is best perceived and the preferred way of perception, how information is organized and processed, and how progress toward understanding takes place. Characterizing learning style as field-dependent or field-independent is an approach with many applications in education. Those who have a field-dependent style are more likely to view the world globally, and have to use the organization in which learning material is presented. Those who have a field-independent learning style tend to view the world more analytically, solve problems more easily, and favor inquiry and independent study. They are more likely to provide their own structure to facilitate learning. Of course, learning styles are not always clustered into neat categories. Another way to view learning styles is that of A. Gregorc and K. Butler (1984) who refer to four channels through which the mind receives and expresses information most efficiently. These include the perception abilities of abstractness and concreteness and the ordering abilities of sequence and randomness. Combining these results in concrete sequential, abstract sequential, abstract random, and concrete random ways of seeing and using information. Learning modalities are also characterized as kinesthetic, tactual, auditory, and visual. By being aware of individual learning styles, including the preferences individuals have for learning conditions, vocational education teachers can develop alternative instructional methods and a variety of learning resources. (Contains 1 table, 2 figures, and 19 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Summer Workshop for Beginning Vocational Education Teachers (Montgomery, WV, July 20, 1998).