In many, if not all, of my assignments throughout the course of my university life I have used theories to justify my views or ideas. One particular theory I have often referred to is multiple intelligences also known as the learning style theory. This theory states that there are 7 different learning styles: visual, auditory, verbal, kinaesthetic, logical, social, and solitary. You can read more about it in detail here. Basically, each person uses one or more learning styles to make sense of what they are learning and often have a more dominant style of learning.
For me, I find I learn best when I am shown how to do something or have seen a table/picture/ graph/ video of the topic I am learning and therefore my most dominant learning style is visual. Whereas, when I am listening to a lecture I find it all too easy to tune out and therefore auditory learning is not one of my strong styles of learning.
Knowing which learning style is best suited helps when learning something new. As a future teacher I think that knowing the learning styles of my students will be very important in helping me to create lessons that suit their learning needs.
However, on further research I came across some criticisms to the learning style theory which made me question my views. This article and this article discuss how the array of definitions surrounding learning styles confuses the theory as well as how the theory describes people use each learning style. They question whether one implements a certain learning style that suits them or are learning styles instinctual?
I thought this was a very interesting point and when I thought about it more I thought, well why can’t learning styles be used in both ways depending on the situation? For example there will be times when you may need to pick a certain learning style to study such as just listening to a lecture vs. listening to the lecture with the lecture slides in front of you or writing notes as you go? You might have to choose what style will help you better understand the lecture. However there are times when a learning style is instinctual, for example when you are reading something and a picture pops into your mind to help you better visualize the concept or description.
Overall, I think the learning style theory is a very comprehensive theory and as a pre-service teacher I think it is an important theory to implement into lessons.