The student learning process: Learning styles or learning approaches?

  • Peter Cuthbert[1]
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The Learning Styles school and the Approaches to Learning school represent two rather different perspectives on the interaction of students with a learning situation. This paper outlines the basic positions of the two schools, and then considers the extent to which it is possible to reconcile them. A possible framework for such a task by Riding ( 1997 ) is discussed and areas of commonality are highlighted. Neither school is free from criticism, and a summary of the criticisms of the constructs and the data collection instruments is provided in each case. Finally, research into the impact of the two schools on student learning is considered. Overall it is concluded that investigation of students' Learning Styles or Approaches to Learning are probably of more benefit to the teacher than to the individual student.

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  • Peter Cuthbert[1]

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