LEARNING HACK #2: Learning styles – helpful or harmful?

Over the next few weeks we will be posting a series of learning hacks that will force you to confront what you do and don’t know about how to learn. A lot of research into learning techniques has been done over the years. Interestingly, many of the conclusions that studies have drawn are taking time to filter into mainstream thought, because often they go against the beliefs that we have held for decades upon decades. We want to get rid of the blinkers and give you a chance to uncover the key principles of current research into learning.

This is the second post in the series, so feel free to check out the first too.

There are different types of learners. Some people are predisposed to learning more effectively from visual material, some from auditory material and others from kinaesthetic practice. Accepting this unlocks potential.

What do you think?

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There are different types of learners. Some people are predisposed to learning more effectively from visual material, some from auditory material and others from kinaesthetic practice. Accepting this unlocks potential.

THIS IS FALSE.

That we all learn best in different ways has established itself as the go-to rule: even 85% of teachers believe it to be true. Unfortunately, there’s next to nothing to back up this idea and, in fact, the past 40 years of research have only shown evidence that disproves it.

It may hold us back to go on thinking that we can only study in one particular way. We may prefer visual materials to auditory materials, or vice versa, but there is no evidence that we learn more effectively when learning in our preferred style. In fact, there is evidence to show that everyone learns better when more senses are engaged, which means not limiting yourself to just one style.

As explained in a QZ article (link below),

The assumption behind learning myths seems to be based on the scientific fact that different regions of the cortex have different roles in visual, auditory, and sensory processing, and so students should learn differently “according to which part of their brain works better.” However, writes Howard-Jones, “the brain’s interconnectivity makes such an assumption unsound.”

Want to read more on this topic? Check out these links:

  1. Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence
  2. The concept of different “learning styles” is one of the greatest neuroscience myths
  3. How to Talk About Learning Styles

What is Up Learn? Up Learn uses artificial intelligence and research from cognitive science to help students achieve A* results. Find out more.

We’re releasing a new learning hack every 2 days. Like our Facebook page to be notified!

LEARNING HACK #1: Intelligence – nature or nurture?

A huge amount of research has gone into clarifying how we learn best. How can we make sure that information doesn’t just go in one ear and out the other? How do we get knowledge to stick, rather than slip away over time? The answers that research points to are almost always different to what our intuition leads us to believe.

We want to clear things up for you. We’re guessing that you want to learn as effectively as you possibly can, right? So, over the next few weeks we will be posting a series of blog posts that will challenge your assumptions on learning. Each post will ask you a True or False question that focuses on one aspect of learning, so that by the end of this series you will have gathered all the key principles.

Ready to bust some serious learning myths? Look no further, our first one is just below:

Research has shown that intelligence is fixed at birth. Although studying can go some way in improving our brainpower, it is unlikely that this will have a dramatic effect.

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Research has shown that intelligence is fixed at birth. Although studying can go some way in improving our brainpower, it is unlikely that this will have a dramatic effect.

THIS IS FALSE.

While some of us may naturally be better at certain subjects, through deliberate practice our abilities can be drastically increased.

In fact, studies have even shown that just knowing that intelligence is malleable has a positive impact on academic achievement. What this means is that if you’re reading this, you have already increased your likelihood of success!

This idea is what we call the growth mindset: a hunger for learning that sees mistakes as opportunity for improvement, not indication of failure.

Want to read more on this topic? Check out these links:

  1. Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential 
  2. How To Help Every Child Fulfil Their Potential 
  3. A social-cognitive approach to motivation and personality

What is Up Learn? Up Learn uses artificial intelligence and research from cognitive science to help students achieve A* results. Find out more.

We’re releasing a new learning hack every 2 days. Like our Facebook page to be notified!