Victoria University is still promoting learning styles 

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I have written before about Victoria University’s 2016 education faculty handbook which promoted learning styles theories. Such theories are widely accepted to lack any evidence of being educationally useful. I also agree with Professor Stephen Dinham that they are potentially harmful in the way that they seek to label students.

So I thought I’d take a look at the 2017 handbook.

In the unit, Development Studies 2, we read that:

“Pre-service teachers are introduced to major theorists and current research across a range of developmental areas including: cognition, physical, emotional, social development; diversity issues; individual learning styles; and the contribution of play to children’s development.”

In the unit, Reforming Pedagogies:

“…students will address a number  of areas as they influence pedagogy and teaching and learning practice. Students will investigate definitions of pedagogy and andragogy; learning styles and approaches; teaching styles and approaches; praxis inquiry about personal pedagogy; multi-literacies and their impact on teaching and learning.”

The unit on Developing Professional Practice:

“…will include an exploration of: adult learning theory and individual learning styles, preferences and processes; workplace learning theory and practice; and theories and practices of mentoring and coaching in workplaces.”

One of the intended outcomes of a unit on early childhood development is that students will be able to:

“Identify, interpret, analyse and evaluate specific teaching strategies for a range of individual children’s learning styles and abilities.”

One positive development for those of us who wish to see learning styles consigned to history is that I only counted eight references in the 2017 handbook whereas there were 15 in the 2016 version. So that’s progress.

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7 thoughts on “Victoria University is still promoting learning styles 

  1. But more importantly, was this handbook available in interpretive dance form, just in case any of the new students happen to be kinesthetic learners?

  2. It is one of the many hilarities of business training that trainers tip their hat to learning styles with a deep and serious intonation, as though they are touching the holy grail (or any grail, for that matter). Then there are gestures towards the various learning styles throughout the usually educationally useless training. They get paid, we get a free lunch and to relax away from the office, then back to the office, with nothing changed.

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