ERIC Number: EJ1228075
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Prevalence of Learning Styles in Educational Psychology and Introduction to Education Textbooks: A Content Analysis
Wininger, Steven R.; Redifer, Jenni L.; Norman, Antony D.; Ryle, Mary K.
Psychology Learning and Teaching, v18 n3 p221-243 Nov 2019
The role of learning styles in the classroom remains a heavily debated topic within education. Notable problems with using learning styles to inform classroom instruction include a lack of empirical support and potential negative effects on student learning and motivation. This content analysis focused on the presence and quantity of learning styles discussion in 20 texts commonly used in educator preparation programs (i.e., introduction to education and educational psychology texts); definitions, models, stances on usage, and recommendations for usage provided; and whether references cited in the texts were empirical studies. Eighty percent of the reviewed textbooks included a discussion of learning styles. Half of the textbooks defined learning style as a preference or approach, whereas the other half defined it as an individual style. Introduction to education texts tended toward a more positive stance on learning style usage whereas introduction to educational psychology texts exhibited a more neutral stance. A quarter of the textbooks recommended matching instructional methods to learning styles. Texts with higher numbers of both empirical and non-empirical references were more likely to describe learning styles in terms of how students prefer to gather information rather than as innate differences in information processing. Given that most textbooks did not recommend matching instructional methods to learning styles, future research should examine the source of the continued prevalence of teachers' beliefs that student learning improves with the matching of learning styles to teaching approach.
Descriptors: Incidence, Cognitive Style, Educational Psychology, Textbook Content, Teacher Education, Classroom Techniques, Introductory Courses, Learning Modalities, Definitions, Textbook Publication, Individualized Instruction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
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