I've written now and again about the popular-in-education notion of "learning styles", which has two parts:
- that individuals have a preferred modality for taking in new information (auditory, visual and kinaesthetic -- listening, by reading and through pictures, or by moving, touching and doing).
- That students' performance will be improved if the teacher matches the delivery of instruction to the students' preferred modality.
Both halves of the notion have been questionable for years, despite extreme popularity with teachers at all levels of education.
In December 2009 the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest published an article reviewing evidence for the second half of the learning styles notion. Pashler et al. found no evidence that matching teaching modality to an individual's learning style increased the learner's educational performance, and recommended that in general the nature of the content to be learned should determine how the material is presented.
I read her article, and thought she had really misunderstood the Pashler article on several levels: The first was how she illustrated "learning styles":