Learning Styles And Nontraditional Education Essay

2261 words - 9 pages

AbstractLearning styles, also known as cognitive styles, learning strategies, and multiple intelligences, have been studied for at least the last four decades. The exploration of these areas has lead to new theories and models of teaching and learning. Nontraditional, higher education students and teachers can use this research to improve learning. Nontraditional students and teachers, professors and mentors can capitalize on the awareness and integration of the knowledge of learning styles.Learning stylesResearch in the area of learning styles has spanned at least four decades and its origins can be traced back much further. Although the fundamental concepts and theories are derived from the field of psychology, current research is being conducted across a broad array of disciplines. These disciplines include medical and health care training, management and industry, vocational training, and a variety of settings in the field of education. (Cassidy 2004)There are numerous theories and models in the field of learning styles. Learning style theories contend that the learners, cognitive, affective, physiological, and sociological patterns determine their academic outcome. (Griggs 2000) According to Dunn and Dunn (1993) learning style is defined as the way a student begins to concentrate on, process, internalize, and remember new and difficult academic information.Some well-known theories of this subject have used Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences as a base line. (Lash n.d.) According to the Gardner theory of multiple intelligences, there are eight different intelligences. By recognizing and inventorying these areas, we can determine one's learning style. The eight major intelligence areas are: Linguistic intelligence (word smart), Logical- mathematical intelligence (number smart), Spatial intelligence (picture smart), Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence (body smart), Musical intelligence (music smart), Interpersonal intelligence (people smart), Intrapersonal intelligence (self smart) and Naturalist intelligence (nature smart). In order to determine what intelligence you are strong in, multiple-choice questionnaires are used to measure one's actions and reactions to a variety of situations and scenarios. A numeric value is placed on each response. By totaling the values, a preference is revealed. The preferences will identify the areas of intelligence in which they excel, they will, in turn correlate to a learning style. By understanding their learning style, it may used to increase effective learning. Critics of these types of theories argue that the results of the questionnaire can be viewed as more of a personality index rather than identify a learning style. (Griggs 2000)The Dunn and Dunn model uses a collection of twenty-one elements organized into five groups titled stimuli. (Dunn, Dunn and Price 1989) Rita and Ken Dunn describe learning style as an individual's personal reaction to each of the twenty-one elements when...

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