C. Quinn and H. Jarche have one word on learning styles: “rubbish”. I do not agree.
I can understand the frustration with a concept that is still in its infancy but has already been overloaded with ambitions of practical usefulness, and which tries to cover not only cognitive styles of learning but also personality styles, and which (above all) does not clearly distinguish between styles and abilities (for this distinction, see Sternberg whom I cited in an earlier post).
But dismissing it prematurely, has one bad consequence: One might continue to ignore the teacher’s own style. If I am a field independent, non-holist type who loves to overly focus on one neatly packaged slice of content, I won’t understand my holist students’ need for more connections, and of course the field-dependents will show underperforming, although they are probably better prepared for complexity in real life. And similarly, if a psychometric survey researches performance in a clearly defined, isolated unit of study, it might get skewed results regarding the focussers.
But as long as style is confused with ability, teachers and researchers won’t admit to themselves that they also belong to one or another style, or they will take it for granted that they belong to the “superior” one