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Should teachers adjust their teaching to students’ learning styles?

Should teachers adjust their teaching to students’ learning styles?

Simply, No. Meaning-based instruction is what should be taking place.

Dan Willingham asserted in his video that “Learning Styles Don’t Exist” and there is no evidence that people learn better based on the modality of instruction of their presumed learning style. After watching this video, I contemplated my company’s mission. Part of the Footprints of the Mind mission statement is: “Using visual, audio and tactile exercises to stimulate the senses, our goals are to enhance children’s abilities to retain what they learn and to develop a global outlook with a lifelong love for travel and cultural awareness.”

As a result, I was happy to read his description about showing a picture of a Mayan temple (visual), and allowing children to touch a Greek traditional dress (kinesthetic), or reading a story or playing a music about an opera (auditory) because that is exactly what we do in our workshops. These functions provide the basis of dynamic thought for the various topics that can be covered in a lesson – just as Willingham suggests they be used – as opposed to strictly adjusting the modality based on the assumed learning style of the student.

I always ask myself: Why is this important? How does showing an artifact provide meaning-based instruction?

Different representational modes are used based on the strengths and limitations of those modes. As it was described, showing a picture of the Mayan temple is much more effective in helping with the meaning of what the landmark looks like. Verbally describing it would lend itself to various interpretations. Showing traditional dress (visual) brings history alive (learning the significance of different articles of clothing). This spark in deep learning and making cultural connections is lighted by the use of the artifacts.

Making cultural connections is the purpose of our programs! Take a look at some of our program highlights:    

We have 40 countries to choose from! Contact us and let us bring our global adventures to your classroom!