The term instruction refers to education (teaching of knowledge) or teaching (a form of instruction). Applying the knowledge concerning learning style in educational area, it's assumed that matching instruction to students' learning style would make the instruction more effective; on the contrary, if mismatch it may lead to student boredom, problems with motivation, and lack of achievement (Driscoll, 2007). To date, a plethora of scholars and researchers provided practical insights or experimented on this hypothesis, provided ways in which learning style theory can take effect in and out of the classroom to improve students' learning. Dunn and Dunn (1978) claimed that students may score higher on tests, have better attitudes, and be more efficient if they are taught under conditions the teaching methods used match their preferred learning styles. This identification of the relationship between achievement and matching instruction to individual learning style has its consistent proponents, whereas the alleged basis for these proposals has been extensively criticized by many educational psychologists and neuroscientists; very little empirical evidence was found to support this construct; repeatedly most experimental efforts to approve this hypothesis have failed to show any advantage of matched instruction over mismatched one.
[...] However, in causal-comparative research, as this design lacks of randomization and is incapable to manipulate independent variable, we may consider using some control procedure in an attempt to ameliorate the effect of some external variables, such as pair- wise matching, comparing homogeneous subgroups, restricting subject selection, and analysis of covariance etc. Conclusions and Pedagogical Recommendations In this essay we reviewed and evaluated two researches on learning style and teaching. The findings may stimulate our educators and learners to explore further and seriously consider this concept. [...]
[...] Both Minotti's and Spoon & Schell's research used methods of survey assessment and achievement test to collect data, which are more valid and reliable than perceptions or opinions. Comparing scores in pretest and posttest using the same data collection method is also an effective way to assess whether outcomes actually changed over time. Furthermore, Minotti's study used secondary sources for gathering participants' achievement data, which may be less biased and time and cost-effective. As bias was minimized in the design and execution of Minotti's study, the sufficient and uncontaminated data was generated and provided adequate, proper information to allow hypothesis testing and responding to research questions. [...]
[...] Stahl (2002) argues that there has been an “utter failure to find that assessing children's learning styles and matching to instructional methods has any effect on their learning”; notion of learning styles has been transformed into a big business as it is so intuitively appealing” (Driscoll, 2007). The controversy lasted for years, now the doubts still continue: whether being different student needs really mean teachers should match their instruction to student learning styles? What kind of relationships of learning styles, instruction, and achievements exactly? [...]
[...] Another recommendation is to train our learners to study effectively through their individual learning-style strengths, to master the skill to adapt and teach them the content. Students, rather than being passively matched should be actively changed to be active, self-direct learners of their own learning, which is invaluable for their future learning and success. This may require a stimulus-stimulus approach to both involve student and the instructors in learning process, and to encourage students' critical awareness of such process. References Canfield, A. A. (1992). Canfield learning styles inventory (LSI) manual. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services. [...]
[...] Driscoll, M. (2007). The Problems and Misuses of Learning Styles Information. In Teaching Schience to Every Child (chap. 3). Retrieved October from http://books.google.com.sg/books?id=RVqAYHd1dAsC&pg=PA70&lpg=PA70&dq=The+P roblems+and+Misuses+of+Learning+Styles+Information.&source=web&ots=k1NDV5F -T3&sig=EnGiOOX52CqN9Q7Amh3jOJlFEl8&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct= result Dunn, R., & Dunn, K. (1978). Teaching students through their individual learning styles: A practical approach. Reston, VA: Reston Publishing Company. Dunn, R., & Griggs, S. A. (1991). Learning Styles: Quiet Revolution in American Schools. Reston, VA: National Association of Secondary School Principals. Minotti, J. [...]
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