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Learning Style Myths

Myths About Kids and Learning Styles

There are many learning style myths and beliefs about how we learn best.  The three most common, mythical learning styles include:

  • We learn by listening to experts – Auditory
  • Experience leads to learning – Visual
  • Hands-on learning works best – Kinesthetic

 

Learning Style Myths About How Children Learn

 

Listening/Auditory

There is a great deal of research that proves individuals actually filter what information they hear and are generally unable to apply information simply after listening.  Studies have demonstrated that by building pauses in learning, recall and comprehension are improved.  Playing board games naturally provide pauses through taking turns which can be a valuable asset in learning.

Experience/Visual

How many pennies have you encountered in your lifetime?  By the age of thirty, most Americans have had visual “experience” with approximately 20,000 pennies.  Yet, few can accurately recall both sides well enough to draw one, drawing skills aside.  This shows that visual experience alone is not enough to learn things well.  There needs to be meaning and relevance in order to translate the experience into knowledge or skills.  Board games provide a visual experience while also incorporating meaning and relevance effectively.

Hands-on Learning/Kinesthetic

In studies with Harvard and MIT graduates, all indicated they could use a bulb, wire and battery to make the bulb light up, yet none were able to successfully do so.  Other studies have shown the same results and researchers have concluded that none of the students had actually learned or understood the principles of electricity despite practicing with kinesthetic hands-on learning.

Additionally, many parents and educators fall into the common trap of “learning styles”, which is more often used as a way to excuse a child’s behavior rather than to actually educate them.  One of the worst things that this does for a child is focuses on their strengths or weaknesses and makes them susceptible to being labeled, further offering them excuses for poor behavior or lack of productivity.

Also, as children grow and develop at different paces, focusing on one area more than the other can handicap their natural development.

So what does work best?

What has been found to be sufficient in learning is actually a combination of a healthy balance with all three methods – never focusing on one more than the other and giving kids lots of opportunities to learn through play.

Properly designed board games provide the perfect combination of all three learning methods for children to successfully and effectively apply their knowledge and skills.  Furthermore, if a child is allowed to win only on his own accord, he will have no need for excuses as he will have successfully learned cause and effect for his actions.

 

Learning Style Quote Franklin

 

 

Sources:

http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Are_Learning_Styles_Myth/

http://learnstreaming.com/7-resources-explaining-the-learning-styles-myth/

Psychology: A Journey, Dennis Coon