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An integrative debate on learning styles and the learning process


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This paper aims to present a contribution to the debate on learning styles and the learning process discussing some classic learning styles theories: Kolb’s experiential learning theory and learning style model, Honey and Munford’s Learning Style Model, Felder and Silverman’s learning styles and the VARK model. We propose to link them with the learning process by exploring knowledge derived from other areas, such as Biology and the Neurosciences, to broaden the horizons of understanding on the subject. This reflection was developed as part of the ERASMUS + research project IC-ENGLISH – Innovative Platform for Adult Language Education. After exploring theories, we present a brief view of the interconnection in the cerebral cortex to support our conclusions, suggesting an integration of learning styles approaches for a more successful learning process.
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An integrative debate on learning styles and the learning process
Lucimar Almeida Dantas
, Ana Cunha
Integrated Researcher at Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Education and Development CeiED. ULHT, Campo Grande, 376. 1749 -:024, Lisboa, Portugal
Professor at Lus
ofona University, Lisboa, Portugal
Learning styles
Learning process
Cerebral cortex
This paper aims to present a contribution to the debate on learning styles and the learning process discussing some
classic learning styles theories: Kolbs experiential learning theory and learning style model, Honey and Mun-
fords Learning Style Model, Felder and Silvermans learning styles and the VARK model. We propose to link them
with the learning process by exploring knowledge derived from other areas, such as Biology and the Neurosci-
ences, to broaden the horizons of understanding on the subject. This reection was developed as part of the
ERASMUS þresearch project IC-ENGLISH Innovative Platform for Adult Language Education. After exploring
theories, we present a brief view of the interconnection in the cerebral cortex to support our conclusions, sug-
gesting an integration of learning styles approaches for a more successful learning process.
1. Introduction
Learning, in the strict sense of the term, is an essential process for
human beings, for cultures and for the success of educational systems.
Formal education integrates the subjects to their environment, enables
the development of cognitive and social skills, gives access to the cultural
heritage accumulated by the history of humanity, and enables the
advancement of this heritage, through the creation of new knowledge.
With the recent advances and the debate over lifelong learning,
formal adult education has gained space, as well as interest, in the
mechanisms underlying the learning process of this audience. Nowadays,
it is widely accepted that people use different avenues to learn; have
preferences for different stimuli and that they facilitate the learning
process. Thus, while some are comfortable with written texts, readings,
debates, and written output, others prefer images, videos, drawings,
schemes, or practical, reality-centered tasks with a concrete purpose.
According to Cassidy (2004), in the last four decades, many studies
have been conducted on learning styles. Cofeld, Moseley, Hall, and
Ecclestone (2004) identied more than 70 learning styles theories
developed in the three decades preceding the study. These theories, in
most cases, correspond to questionnaires, applied on a large scale by the
industry, to identify studentslearning styles, the relationship between
studentsand teacherslearning styles (Awla, 2014;Massa &Mayer,
2006;Naimie, Siraj, Piaw, Shagholi, &Abuzaid, 2010;Tuan, 2011)
whether by physical or virtual means. Among the best known are Dunn
(1990) Learning Styles Model, Kolbs (1984, 1985) Learning Styles
Inventory, and Honey and Mumfords (1992) Learning Styles
With the wide dissemination of questionnaires, the expression
learning styleshas received different concepts and approaches, ac-
cording to the focus chosen by its students (Kazu, 2009), as well as strong
criticism of the scientic evidence of the correlation between learning
styles, methodological choice and improvement of learning (Pashler,
McDaniel, Rohrer, &Bjork, 2008;Scott, 2010). There are also expres-
sions used as synonyms, but which designate different processes. In this
sense, when reviewing the literature in the area, it is common to nd
terms like learning style and cognitive style used as synonyms. However,
they have different meanings and relate to different levels in the learning
process. According to James and Gardner (1995, p. 20), learning styles is
the complex manner in which, learners most effectively perceive, pro-
cess, store, and recall what they are attempting to learn. Conversely,
cognitive style refers to an individualsnatural, habitual, and preferred
way (s) of absorbing, processing and retaining new information and
skills(Reid, 1995: viii).
Learning styles corresponds to generalized differences in learning
orientation based on the degree to which people emphasize the four
modes of learning process(Kolb, 1984, p. 76). Among the various
concepts available, we will use Kolbs (1984) here for the theoretical
support that precedes it and that we present below.
* Corresponding authors.
E-mail addresses: (L.A. Dantas), (A. Cunha).
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Social Sciences &Humanities Open
journal homepage:
Received 18 December 2019; Received in revised form 18 February 2020; Accepted 20 February 2020
Available online xxxx
2590-2911/©2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Social Sciences &Humanities Open 2 (2020) 100017
2. Kolbs experiential learning theory and learning styles model
Kolbs learning styles model is supported by Kolbs Experiential
Learning Theory (ELT), a comprehensive theory of learning and adult
development. Kolb (1984),Kolb and Kolb (2013) explain that ELT is built
on propositions of some prominent scholars, namely John Dewey, Kurt
Lewin, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, William James, Carl Jung, Paulo
Freire, Carl Rogers and Mary Parker Follet.
For Kolb (1984) and Kolb and Kolb (2013) learning should be
considered a process and not only for the results obtained. It is facilitated
when students have the opportunity to test and retest their beliefs,
knowledge and ideas on a given topic, and add new and rened ideas.
Learning is a holistic process of adaptation to the world that requires the
ability to resolve dialectically conicts between modes of adaptation to
the world - reection/action and feeling/thinking. Learning is therefore
the process of knowledge creation which requires the synergy between
social knowledge and personal knowledge.
In the historical-cultural postulate of learning in which the theory is
inserted, Kolb (1984) uses the Vygotskian concept of Proximal Devel-
opment Zone to ground a new concept, that of experiential learning,
directed towards adult learning. This concept is based on the assumption
that learning is built from the experience lived in context, in interaction
with the knowledge that each individual has already accumulated at a
given moment. Human beings live integrated in natural, cultural and
historical environments that give them the necessary elements to enable
them to construct their knowledge. In this framework, experiences can be
transformed into learning and this, in turn, expands the knowledge that
each one already has. However, not every experience results in learning.
Learning is a mental process oriented toward a purpose, which requires
conscious reection. Learning is the process whereby knowledge is
created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results
from the combination of grasping and transforming experience."(Kolb,
1984, p. 41).
From these assumptions, Kolb (1984) then presents an explanatory
structural model of learning and an instrument of identication of
learning styles, directed to the formation of adult professionals, known as
the Kolb cycle, as can be seen in Fig. 1.
As seen in the diagram, Kolbs experiential learning cycle represents
an ideal dynamic view of learning, oriented toward dialectically
resolving the two opposite forms of experiencing (reection/action) and
transforming experiences into knowledge (feeling/thinking).
1. Concrete experience - (feeling) refers to the contact with concrete
problems to be solved, referenced in the accumulated world knowl-
edge and already developed mental structures;
2. Reective observation - consists of the internal action of identifying
characteristics, grouping and organizing information, establishing
connections, searching for similar concepts, analyzing information
that contributes to the solution of the problem.
3. Abstract conceptualization - (thinking) here is where concepts are
formed and generalized, from the comparison with similar realities,
which results in a synthesized set of knowledge about the problem.
4. Active experimentation - is the external application, in unpublished
practical actions, of the experiences felt, reected and conceptualized
in the previous phases of the cycle.
The combination of cycle modes gives rise to Kolbs learning styles
and Kolb Learning Styles Inventory - LSI - (Kolb, 1971,1976) in its
various versions (Kolb, 1985,1999;Kolb &Kolb, 2013).
A learning style is therefore the combination of preferences among
the four modes of learning; the point at which the learner enters the
learning cycle, that is, the individual way in which each individual
combines the two modes of experience/reectionaction and turns it into
knowledge (feeling/thinking). Since learning is here considered a pro-
cess, in construction and continuous reconstruction, which occurs
through the interaction of the individuals knowledge with the
knowledge of the environment, the learning style is not a xed psycho-
logical or cognitive trait, but rather the result of the interaction between
the person and the environment (Kolb &Kolb, 2013). Kolb detects the
following styles:
Diverging - the learning style derived from the CE/RO combination.
Individuals with this style have a preference for visual stimuli, con-
crete situations, combined with diverse information. They feel
comfortable with group work, discussion and constant feedback.
Assimilating - characterised by the preference for visual and mental
(RO/AC) stimuli. Learners with this style deal more easily with
analysis, explanations, theories, texts and all kinds of material that
allow analysis and reection.
Converging - is the learning style of people who identify with prac-
tical tasks and deductive reasoning to solve a given problem (AC/AE).
These learners have a preference for direct and practical guidance and
learning tasks.
Accommodating - is the learning style identied by the preference
for making plans, projecting the future, creating prospects for situa-
tions, from stimuli involving thinking and doing (AE/CE). Individuals
with this style handle challenging activities easily, take risks, and
solve problems intuitively (Kara, 2009).
3. Honey and Munfords learning styles model
Kolbs (1984) experiential learning theory and his model of learning
styles are the foundations for the learning styles model developed by
Honey and Mumford (1992). The Honey and Munford Model - Learning
Styles Questionnaire - LSQ - establishes learning styles from the strategies
used by learners to capture and transform information. They are: Activist,
Reector, Theorist and Pragmatic, corresponding to the AE, RO, AC and
CE strategies of the Kolb cycle, respectively.
Activist learners learn best in situations of concrete action, where
experimentation, learning by making mistakes and being correct is
favored. Group discussion activities, problem-solving, puzzles and
brainstorming are stimuli that favour the learning of activist individuals.
Reectors share a style of learning that prefers a combination of
observation and thinking to learn. They consider many possibilities and
implications in an act before taking a decision. Activities that give them
time to investigate and think, go back and observe, review what
happened, without deadlines, are preferred by reectors.
Theorist learners are more comfortable with learning from explan-
atory models, theories, statistical data, analysis and synthesis. These
learners need to understand the logic behind the actions. Activities of
discussion, reading, case studies, with stimuli that allow them time to
think, seek theoretical explanations, formulate models and base problem
solving are the most suitable for these learners.
Pragmatist learners apply to practice analytical knowledge to create
new things and solve problems. Activities with a clear link between topic
Fig. 1. Kolbs experiential learning cycle.
Source: adapted from Kolb (1984),Kolb and Kolb (2013).
L.A. Dantas, A. Cunha Social Sciences &Humanities Open 2 (2020) 100017
and real need, techniques applied to current problems and clear guide-
lines offer the stimulus preferred by pragmatists.
3.1. Felder and Silvermans learning styles
Felder and Silverman (1988) developed an instrument to identify
learning styles, i.e. the Index of Learning Styles (ILS). These authors
consider learning styles to be the preferences and qualities of individuals
as they receive and process information. Thus, they established a model
that measures the approximation of preferences between the categories
Active/Reective, Sensitive/Intuitive, Visual/Verbal, Sequential/Verbal
using a pre-established scale. The ILS underwent several reformulations,
which resulted in the design of a questionnaire (Felder &Soloman, 1991)
to identify studentslearning styles in the four categories previously
identied by Felder and Silverman (1988). In 1997, the instrument was
made available on the Internet for free use (Schmitt &Domingues, 2016).
The pairs of learning styles established by ILS are:
Active these learners prefer to work in a group, strive for learning
from actions; or Passive - prefer to work alone or in small groups;
learn better by thinking about the problems/issues before them.
Sensitive these learners prefer the concrete, the sensitive, the real
facts; or Intuitive - these are more conceptual, like theories, expla-
nations and syntheses.
Visual these learners prefer activities involving images, visual
representations; or Verbal - prefer written information, reading and
Sequential these learners prefer processes segmented into well-
dened parts that follow linear thinking; or Global - need a holistic
perspective to process the information.
4. The VARK model
Another instrument used to identify studentslearning styles and to
enhance their learning was developed by Fleming (2001), based on
mapping learning styles. According to this author, the VARK technique -
Visual, Aural, Read, Kinesthetic - corresponds to the four channels used
by individuals to receive and process information:
Visual individuals who favour the visual aspect learn best from
pictorial information and descriptions such as drawings, graphics,
and images. They organize the reasoning better with the use of lists
and diagrams. For these learners, the most indicated activities are
lectures, slide presentations, diagrams, graphics, videos and images,
resolution of exercises, surveys or any other materials that contain
visual information.
Aural - these individuals use the auditory pathway to learn better.
They prefer information with sounds and audio guidance, such as
spoken instructions, discussions, oral presentations, conversations,
music, audio and video information, music and role plays.
Read/writing - learners using this style prefer written and reading
information as a means of learning. They usually resort to notes, di-
agrams and all sorts of writing to learn better. Activities involving
texts, reading, abstraction production, essays, articles, comments or
any other type of written stimuli are preferred by these individuals.
Kinesthetic - people with this learning style need movement, sensory
touch and interaction with the environment to acquire information
and create knowledge. Activities such as hands-on classes, problem
solving, case studies, demonstrations or physical activities are best
suited for learners using this pathway.
5. Integrating approaches
The discussion about learning styles and the effectiveness of their
identication to improve learning may have in Biology and Neuroscience
points of common interest for a broader dialogue. Although they are
different areas from those that focus on the topic of learning styles, the
knowledge produced there can contribute to the enrichment of what we
know about the complex process that is human learning.
Much is known today about brain structure and its functioning,
although scholars in the eld recognize that they are still at the beginning
of this discovery process, and that there is much more to know.
In terms of structure, Biology has divided the human brain into
overlapping layers with distinct functions. The most supercial layer is
the cerebral cortex, which is divided into large areas, responsible for
processing the external stimuli that are captured by the sense organs, as
shown in Fig. 2.
Each part of our cerebral cortex specializes in receiving and pro-
cessing stimuli coming from different external points, and then produc-
ing an output. As seen in Fig. 2 above, at the back of the brain is the visual
cortex, responsible for image recognition and formation; next to it is
Wernickes area, responsible for understanding spoken or written words.
This, in turn, is connected to the auditory cortex, which receives and
processes sound information in general. Further ahead is Brocas area,
the part responsible for speech articulation; it is here where the muscles
are activated for the production of speech. The higher mental functions
(concentration, planning, judgment, expression of emotions, creativity)
are processed in the prefrontal cortex, while the motor cortex processes
and activates motor actions and the sensory cortex takes care of sensitive
Note that specic cortexes (visual, auditory, sensory, motor) integrate
broader regions, areas of visual, auditory, motor and sensory association,
respectively; that is, there are specic centers for the different informa-
tion, but these work within a broader specic area. It is this integration
that enables, for example, recognition of forms or texture, understanding
language signs, planning motor actions and modulating sensory impulses
(Orhan &Arslan, 2016). Despite the specialty of each of the areas, it is
known that they work intensely interconnected to transform the infor-
mation captured by the sense organs into knowledge.
In a simplied example of the path between an auditory input and the
verbal output equivalent to the question What day is it?and an
appropriate answer, we would have the following process: 1. The sound
is picked up by the auditory area and sent to Wernickes area, where the
comprehension of the spoken language is processed, namely, the mean-
ing of the words, their sequence in the sentence. In order to do so, 2.
memory is used, that is, knowledge already accumulated about the lan-
guage and the world. Next, 3. The motor area and Brocas area come into
play, which voluntarily trigger a set of muscles in the throat and face to
vocalize the appropriate response.
The interconnection between the areas of the brain is conrmed by
studies in Neuroscience. Research carried out by Dehaene, Spelke, Pinel,
Stanescu, and Tsivkin (1999) on exact additions (e.g. 3 þ4¼7) point to
the activation of the left-lateralised area in the inferior frontal lobe, an
area of the brain commonly associated with language. Conversely, when
the additionwas approximate (e.g. 3 þ4¼8), this area did not show any
activity. According to the researchers, this is because exact additions
involve the retrival of knowledge on the number intensively acquired
previously. This information is usually stored in the areas of the brain
responsible for language.
Another study conducted by Shaywitz and Shaywitz (2005), on young
adults followed longitudinally, found different types of neural paths to
support reading. The authors used brain images to analyse the neural
connections of three groups: 1. Persistently poor readers (PPR) thus
named for their low reading skills at the beginning of the study, in the
2nd and 4th grades, and at the end, in 9th and 10th grade. 2.
Accuracy-improved poor readers (AIR), thus characterised for meeting
the criteria for poor reading at the beginning of the study, but not at the
end; and 3. Nonimpaired readers (NIR), those who showed no evidence
of poor reading performance at any stage of the study. Analysing the
brain connections developed by the three groups, the researchers found
different neural paths: NRI readers demonstrated connectivity between
the left hemisphere posterior and anterior reading systems. In contrast,
L.A. Dantas, A. Cunha Social Sciences &Humanities Open 2 (2020) 100017
PPR readers showed connectivity between the left posterior reading
systems and right prefrontal areas often associated with working memory
and memory retrieval.
In Fig. 3, we can see a suggestive image of how interconnection be-
tween the areas of the brain works.
The image, produced from the observation of a living brain, shows the
constant intercommunication between the various parts of the brain,
characteristic of brain activity. The lines, in gurative colors, indicate the
direction of the movements of said activity and suggest the connection
between the various parts of the brain in information processing. This
intense activity continually enlarges and modies the brain itself and its
ability to learn.
The ability to change from experience at structural, functional and
morphological levels is called cerebral plasticity (Hebb, 1949;Kandel,
Schwartz, Jessel, Siegelbaim, &Hudspeth, 2013;Kolb &Whishaw,
1998). Although the foundations for the concept of brain plasticity were
rst mentioned in the 19th century by James (1899, p. 135) when he
spoke of the organic matter, especially nervous tissue, seems endowed
with a very extraordinary degree of plasticity, it was technological
development which allowed Neuroscience to observe, through images,
changes in the brain structure, in the neurons and in the interconnectivity
between areas of the brain (Rees, Booth, &Jones, 2016).
The changes in brain structure derived from the ageing of the or-
ganism in childhood and adolescence, known as sensitive periods
(Knowland &Thomas, 2014), were noted in various studies. Giedd et al.
(1999) suggested, from a longitudinal study they conducted, that the
volume of the brain only reaches its peak at the age of 14.5 years for boys
and 11.5 years for girls. Other studies indicate that the volume of grey
matter mass and of white matter mass changes during childhood (Lenroot
&Giedd, 2006;Schmithorst &Yuan, 2010) and increases during the shift
from to adolescence and adulthood (Giorgio et al., 2010).
Nevertheless, other than in the sensitive periods, the brain ability to
change depending on the environment continue throughout life, albeit
less intensely intensidade (Knowland &Thomas, 2014). In a study con-
ducted by Draganski et al. (2004) on young adults, a signicant increase
in the volume of grey mass was observed in both brain hemispheres in
areas that connect sight and motor control after three months of juggling
practice. Also, after three months of the subject not training, the volume
of that area went back to the initial level. Dehaene et al. (2010a,b)
observed the brain activity of three groups of subjects: literate since
childhood, illiterate and literate in adulthood. The researchers noted that
a brain area related to image recognition (VWFA) was more active in the
illiterate and the literate in adulthood than in the literate since child-
hood. Both studies are suggestive of the impact that learning a new skill
be it motor or cognitive can have in changing the brain structure.
6. Conclusion
In this paper, we present the concept of learning styles and their
theoretical foundations based on the theory of experiential learning by
Kolb (1984). Among the many instruments for identifying learning styles,
we chose to present LSI (Kolb, 1971,1976), LSQ (Honey &Mumford,
1992), ILS (Felder &Silverman, 1988) and VARK (Fleming, 2001) due to
their similarity in the conception of learning and the theoretical para-
digm that supports them.
Also, we have established a link between the learning styles and the
Fig. 2. Motor and Sensory Regions of the Cerebral Cortex.
Source: staff (2014). Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2).
Fig. 3. Interconnections in the brain.
Source: Dam
asio, H. (s.d.) cited by Dam
asio, A. (2019).
L.A. Dantas, A. Cunha Social Sciences &Humanities Open 2 (2020) 100017
knowledge coming from Biology and the Neurosciences, in order to
broaden the debate on the subject. From the theories and models pre-
sented, we draw some considerations that can contribute to the debate
about the topic among teachers.
1. In order to learn, we use different external channels, through which
we capture information, which is then processed internally in artic-
ulation with the knowledge we already have, the environment and
the time in which we live. Although they are not discussed in this text,
we add here the widely known psychological and affective issues
involved in learning.
2. With this we highlight the individuality of the process and the paths
chosen by each subject in the construction of knowledge. For stu-
dents, knowing their learning style can help them make learning more
attractive by prioritizing how they organize their activities and the
types of input they are more stimulated by. For teachers, recognizing
that there are different ways of learning favors a change in the very
conception of learning and the traditional model of education, which
is almost always rooted in an approach to didactics that prioritizes
visual and auditory information.
3. The knowledge that we offer today, coming from the constructivist
and socio-interactionist learning theories, articulated with new de-
velopments in Biology and the Neurosciences, indicate that learning
happens through the continuous interaction of endogenous and
exogenous factors. The process changes, because it changes the
accumulated knowledge and, with it, individualsown learning
ability and strategies.
Based on this analysis, it seems therefore restrictive to choose a single
learning style, in other words, to focus on a single type of stimulus for the
organization of learning activities as a presupposition for better learning.
While recognizing individuality and the preferences of the subject,
providing students with different stimuli, equivalent to the various styles
explained here, will constitute the most appropriate methodology to the
construction of learning.
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L.A. Dantas, A. Cunha Social Sciences &Humanities Open 2 (2020) 100017
... All these findings imply that more and continuous research is needed on both FLA and learning styles in SL/FL learning. Moreover, as discussed in the socio-interactionist theory, learning happens through the continuous interaction of endogenous and exogenous factors [26]. SL/FL learning is highly likely to be affected by students' learning style preferences and foreign language anxiety. ...
... Reid's [20] 30-item Perceptual Learning Styles Preferences Questionnaire (PLSPQ) (a = 0.883) was used in the present study, which covers 6 components with each component having 5 items. To analyze the data received from the PLSPQ, Reid [20] provided 3 cut-off scores for major learning style preference (38)(39)(40)(41)(42)(43)(44)(45)(46)(47)(48)(49)(50), minor learning style preference (25)(26)(27)(28)(29)(30)(31)(32)(33)(34)(35)(36)(37), and negligible learning style preference (24 or less). ...
... Pedagogically, the study sheds light on and offers specific suggestions for the teaching and learning of an SL/FL. These attest to the belief in the socio-interactionist theory that learning is shaped by interaction with internal and external factors [26,55]. With more empirical research, a path model among learning styles, FLA and learning outcomes can be built. ...
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The present study examined the relationship between English classroom anxiety (ECA) and learning style and their predictive effects on students’ English achievement. In total, 691 Chinese university EFL (English as a foreign language) students answered the English Classroom Anxiety Scale, the Perceptual Learning Styles Preferences Questionnaire and a background information questionnaire. Major findings were: (a) the two scales were highly reliable and significantly inversely related to each other, (b) the respondents generally had a medium ECA level and selected auditory, kinesthetic, visual, tactile, group and individual styles as their minor preferences, (c) no significant differences occurred in ECA levels between students of varying genders and disciplines, (d) male students preferred group learning significantly more and individual learning significantly less than their female peers, and engineering students preferred group learning significantly more and individual learning significantly less than their peers of social sciences and humanities, (e) ECA was significantly negatively correlated with and predicted students’ English achievement, and (f) each learning style was significantly positively correlated with students’ English achievement, and visual and group styles significantly positively predicated the latter. These findings confirm the role of foreign language anxiety and learning style in second/foreign language learning.
... A aprendizagem é um processo essencial para qualquer ser humano, em diversos aspectos de sua existência, seja para as culturas ou para o sucesso dos sistemas educacionais (Dantas & Cunha, 2020). Os estudos sobre o processo de aprendizagem vêm sendo desenvolvidos há cerca de um século por psicólogos, e mais atualmente tem-se buscado compreender como o fenômeno acontece a partir de uma ótica educacional (Ormazábal, Borotto & Astudillo, 2021). ...
... Nesse contexto, pode-se perceber que o ensino formal passa por mudanças no que diz respeito aos mecanismos e metodologias subjacentes ao processo de aprendizagem. Assim, considera-se amplamente aceito que as pessoas usam meios diferentes para aprender e têm preferências por diferentes estímulos que podem facilitar esse processo de aprendizagem (Dantas & Cunha, 2020). A essas características que tornam os indivíduos mais próximos, ou mais distantes, de um tipo ou outro de preferência de aprendizagem, a literatura atribui o conceito de Estilos de Aprendizagem. ...
... O número de estudos e de áreas de aplicação dos estilos de aprendizagem apresentaram grande crescimento até o início dos anos 2000 (Cassidy, 2004), com pelo menos 70 teorias ou abordagens sobre os estilos de aprendizagem tendo sido desenvolvidas (Coffield, Moseley, Hall & Ecclestone, 2004). E continuaram a crescer também nos últimos anos (Dantas & Cunha, 2020). ...
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A partir dos avanços no debate sobre o processo de ensino-aprendizagem e suas novas configurações, esta revisão bibliográfica buscou apresentar a holística das metodologias ativas no processo educacional. Inseriu-se nessa discussão as características individuais que podem sugerir diferentes preferências na aprendizagem, destacando estilos de aprendizagem. A fim de trazer um panorama geral sobre os estudos de estilos de aprendizagem, foram apresentados alguns modelos sob os quais esses estilos podem ser expressos. Além disso, foi estabelecido um vínculo entre as metodologias ativas e os estilos de aprendizagem. A partir dessa relação construída, foi realizada uma breve revisão de estudos sobre metodologias ativas e estilos de aprendizagem aplicados ao ensino contábil brasileiro. Os resultados mostraram que, embora haja complexidade nesse cenário, têm sido feitas tentativas de inclusão de metodologias ativas no ensino de ciências contábeis no cenário brasileiro. Estudos têm analisado os efeitos dos estilos de aprendizagem dos alunos e professores, assim como os métodos de ensino utilizados, e evidenciaram a importância de considerar os estilos de aprendizagem no planejamento de estratégias de ensino. A adoção de metodologias ativas mostrou-se influente no desempenho dos alunos, e estratégias como trabalho em grupo, leitura dirigida e aula expositiva foram consideradas eficazes na aprendizagem. Espera-se que esta revisão possa auxiliar no entendimento dos conceitos relacionados aos temas aqui discutidos e criar reflexões para fomentar o planejamento e possível adoção de metodologias ativas no ensino superior em ciências contábeis.
... Students can formulate and learn from their experience or current observation before they conduct the active experiment. They can plan and test the implications of the concepts they built for new situations (active experiments) [39]. ...
... Based on the Kolb experiential learning model 1984, Peter Honey and Alan Mumford identified four main learning styles or preferences, namely [41]; (i) activists (learning from concrete experience) tend to act first without considering the repercussion, (ii) reflectors (learning from the observation and thinking to learn) consider the perspectives from every angle, (iii) theorists (learn by knowing the reasoning behind the acts) are more comfortable with learning methods than models of evaluation, theory, statistical data, synthesis, and analysis, and (iv) pragmatic (learn by experimenting theory) apply analytical knowledge to construct new things and solve problems [39], [41]. The Honey-Mumford learning model enabled individuals to focus on their strengths and 44808 VOLUME 11, 2023 weaknesses by partnering with their chosen learning style to adapt and enhance their learning while acquiring a more excellent grasp of how to work independently on various subjects [42]. ...
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The rise of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and the increasing reliance on the digital economy drive the need for a new set of skills, especially in robotics learning, that includes computational thinking (CT) and adversarial thinking (AT) for the young generation. The need for CT-related skills includes various fields, such as robotics, engineering, computer science, mathematics, music, arts, and humanities. Therefore, adopting robotic learning with CT and AT can enhance learning skills over the conventional learning model. This paper presents a systematic literature review on CT and AT practices in robotics learning to improve educational methods. This study conducts a systematic literature review from four databases: ACM, Scopus, IEEE Xplore, and ScienceDirect. Sixty-five studies in robotics learning to increase CT and AT skills were analyzed by applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The study’s findings show that CT and AT are significant in training students to engage in robotics learning activities. These considerations will lead to strengthening their skill and critical thinking. The study also suggests that integrating these skills can prepare teachers for critical thinking and boost student learning. The findings suggest that CT and AT can directly adopt digital adversarial learning skills to improve overall robotics learning activities. For future studies, the difference in learning ages related to robotics activities with CT and AT applications can be studied to deeply comprehend the effectiveness of CT and AT applications.
... However, a downward trend in satisfaction levels among younger students was reported accompanied by problems with technology, time management, and course organization. As flipped learning combines traditional classroom with online instruction; there emerges a complexity in terms of the variety and diversity of learning environments, learning design(s) and as well as learning styles of the students (Dantas & Cunha, 2020) and narrow awareness. Similarly, cultural and technological diversity and the Net-Generation experiences create problems for flipped learning and its success (Åhman & Nguyen, 2020). ...
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Different studies have addressed different aspects of flipped learning but its practices and issues with integrated 5E learning cycles in higher education in Malaysia context still need to be explored. This case study is an attempt to explore medical assistant undergraduate students’ learning experiences in the 5E flipped learning environment (5EFL). Varied forms of data were collected, including (1) semi-structured individual interviews with students, (2) student focus discussions, (3) participant learning journals, and (4) classroom observations. Thematic analyses were conducted to analyze qualitative data respectively. Multiple methods were employed to establish the trustworthiness of the study. The findings indicated that students valued real-time interactions with peers and the instructor. In addition, five themes emerged from the study a) Supportive Learning Process, b) Organized and Well-Structured Method, c) Enhance Teacher’s Supportive Role, d) Facilitate Students' Role, and e) Enhance Perceived Competence Level in Learning. This study found learners improved their quality of work in 5EFL. Thus, this 5EFL environment played an important role in enriching learners’ cognitive load in the learning process.
... Further, Shams and Seitz (2008) found that 16 multisensory learning has the benefit of engaging all students irrespective of their preferred learning style, thus improving their grasp of key concepts. Learning styles refer to a students' preferred mode of learning-typically, visual, verbal, or kinaesthetic (Pashler et al., 2008;Riener & Willingham, 2010) and are typically considered as being under the umbrella of Kolb's experiential learning theory (Dantas & Cunha, 2020). However, despite a large bank of literature on learning styles, there is limited evidence ...
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Randomness misconceptions impact our statistical literacy and can affect our understanding of related concepts, such as in the context of distributions. Misconceptions are particularly problematic if held by teachers since their heuristics and biases could be passed on to students. This thesis uses triangulation to consider New Zealand teachers’ concept knowledge flexibility, which is a novel approach to investigating the presence of randomness misconceptions. Within New Zealand, statistics education is a key focus of the curriculum, so the characteristics of randomness misconceptions held by New Zealand teachers may differ from those identified in international research. Multisensory learning is one feasible approach for attending to randomness misconceptions. As an engaging active learning approach, multisensory learning is beneficial for providing students with alternative experiences of concepts. This thesis also considers whether attending to randomness misconceptions using multisensory learning elements would be adopted in New Zealand statistics classrooms. This aims to identify perceived barriers than would need to be considered in the development of multisensory activities aiming to challenge perceptions of randomness. To carry out this research, a series of questionnaires were designed and sent to members of New Zealand mathematics and statistics associations. Mixed methods, involving thematic analysis and quantitative methods, were implemented to triangulate findings. Triangulation was used to cross-validate conclusions and provide a multidimensional analysis of responses. Consistent with international findings, this thesis identifies the presence of randomness misconceptions held by teachers. Participants exhibited inflexible concept knowledge and were challenged when asked to apply their knowledge of randomness to distribution-based examples. Triangulation allowed for the identification of some participants having only an instrumental understanding of randomness. In terms of adopting a multisensory learning approach to attend to these misconceptions, participants appeared open to this with the biggest barrier being a lack of current resources.
... However, learners think differently when they are encouraged to reflect and reason through their responses. Dantas and Cunha (2020) stated that the bulk of individuals have analytical psychological preferences and prefer to learn sequentially and reflectively or take their time to make decisions. Cimermanová (2018) added that the most common learning styles are visual, sequential, reflective, sensory, global, active, intuitive, and verbal. ...
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Purpose: Everyone learns in a different way, depending on what suits them best. Hence, this study explored the learning styles of Alpha learners as perceived by their parents and teachers, with a particular focus on identifying effective teaching techniques that promote engagement and academic success. Design/Methodology/Approach: This descriptive survey was conducted among 52 teachers and 403 parents in Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines. The participants were selected randomly, and a modified teaching-learning styles questionnaire, validated beforehand, was utilized. The collected data were analysed using the mean and standard deviation. Findings: Alpha learners preferred studying on the ground or a couch in various lighting and weather conditions. They pursued task completion and academic excellence while working on their own or under supervision, with external rewards as their motivation. Alpha learners sought consistency and moderate direction. They effectively studied without adult guidance, utilizing a diverse range of tools. Conclusions: Alpha learners exhibit diverse preferences in their learning environment, including seating, lighting, and weather. They are motivated by rewards from outside sources and make an effort for academic success. They like independent or supervised work. They study effectively without adult guidance, utilizing various tools. Effective techniques for Alpha learners include reading, writing, debating, watching, touching, and listening. Research Limitations/Implications: The study is subject to certain limitations, such as its restricted geographical coverage and dependence on self-reported perceptions. To enhance the validity and generalizability of the findings, larger and more diverse samples are required. Subsequent investigations ought to contemplate enlarging the sample size and broadening the participant pool to augment the credibility and universal relevance of the findings. Practical Implications: Clear instructions for parents, strategies to understand and manage children's traits, and personalized teaching can enhance Alpha learners' academic performance. Contribution to Literature: This research offers insights into Alpha learners' styles, preferences, and effective techniques, filling a literature gap. It informs educational practices for their engagement and academic success.
... While debating is a great activity for developing critical thinking, it has the disadvantage that it can turn an argument into a game of winners and losers rather than a collaborative process. A debate has been identified as an educational strategy that promotes improved reasoning and critical thinking, and raises awareness of attitudes, values, and beliefs (Dantas & Cunha, 2020). In traditional classes, most of the educational process has the lecture format; however, in the debate, students move beyond the passive nature of the lecture format to the dynamic nature of the negotiations (Mohammed Elhassan & Adam, 2017). ...
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The purpose of the article is to determine the role of critical thinking and unconscious competence in the implementation of effective communication during group discussions, debates and dialogues. The necessary conditions for creating an effective educational environment conducive to the development of students’ conversational skills are demonstrated. An educational experiment was conducted with the participation of 75 third-year students from the School of [BLINDED], [BLINDED], during which the students practiced both critical thinking and unconscious competence in the process of group discussions. The conducted survey at the beginning and end of training, was determined the degree of use of critical thinking skills and unconscious competence in the process of finding answers to arguments during debates, discussions and disputes. The results of the surveys showed that in the process of speaking, critical thinking skills are used more often (79%) than unconscious competence (21%), but at the same time, students considered that unconscious competence (81%) is more effective in debates and discussions, than critical thinking (19%). It was concluded that critical thinking skills are easier and faster to learn to participate in a constructive discussion than the skills of unconscious competence, the development of which must take place in an authentic learning environment for a longer period. The results of the study confirmed that the participation of students in the conversation class increased their ability to analyze, critically evaluate, argue, unconsciously respond and understand the interlocutor. Therefore, it is important to invest additional efforts and create conditions for open, flexible and comfortable communication of students using modern pedagogical methods aimed at developing students’ thinking skills of a higher order. The findings can be useful in the field of language teaching, psychology, and linguistics, as well as become the basis for the development of new curricula using collective discussions.
... A recent review of these learning styles as fixed characteristics in learners (Hall, 2005) noted that it in using these, it was too restrictive to use just one learning style and more emphasis needed to be placed on providing the students with different stimuli to discover more about their styles (Dantas, 2020). ...
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The terms ‘skills shortages,’ ‘skills challenge’ and ‘skills gap’ are regularly used across industries to highlight aspirations to update, advance and ideally match skills to emerging technologies, growing populations, and changes in the environment. Degree apprenticeships were introduced in 2017 to meet a demand for high skilled occupations using a vocational approach. The design, implementation and impact of the degree apprenticeship will have relevance for research in two main areas. Firstly, in higher education research for both undergraduate students and work-based learning practices; and secondly in workplace research for organisation learning and for professional development research with a focal point on graduates and early career professionals. The aim of the research was to conduct an experiential evaluation of DAs, specifically in civil engineering centred around how workplace competencies would be developed alongside academic study and how the stakeholders would manage this. Qualitative mixed methods were used across three years using interviews, questionnaires, and focus groups. The findings of each method used informed the subsequent method of data collection. The summative findings were organised by stakeholder groups extracting observed barriers, positive interventions, and good practice focussing on key aspects of delivery. A framework structured using the apprenticeship timeline offers stakeholders’ practical activities when addressing their own apprenticeship delivery. Finally, key recommendations and advice are offered. This research will contribute to an early body of works in this subject area and could have applications for other degree apprenticeships in the construction and built environment sector.
In the 21st century, the school classroom encompasses great variance between students. Within this differentiated experience teachers must continuously navigate and conduct their lessons. The aim of the current study was to translate the DI-Quest into Hebrew and validate it in Israel, in order to examine the perceptions and integration of differentiated instruction among teachers in Israel. The research included 221 educators who were asked about five components. The findings show significant relations between teachers’ evolving mindset and their work with flexible groups, evaluating teaching, as well as applying differentiated teaching, reflecting that the higher the mindset (indicating an evolving mindset), the higher the application of differentiated teaching and related practical principles. In summary, educators are required to show great flexibility in order to shape learning while adapting to differentiated teaching. They are expected to exercise professional intuition, not only in the context of an orderly curriculum, but mainly to understand students' development and change while learning.
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It is widely believed that understanding students' learning style and preferences can benefit both students and teachers. As students learn in various ways, it appears impossible to change the learning style of each student in the classroom. Instead, teachers might modify their teaching style so as to be more consistent with their students learning style. The purpose of this paper is threefold .: first, to define and classify the concept of learning styles; second, to give an account of the significance of identifying and understanding learners' learning styles; third, to argue that students will have better achievements, if their teachers' styles or the way they receive instruction matches their learning style. Moreover, it is suggested that teachers should take a balanced approach to teaching styles so that they can cope with various learning styles. The study takes a theoretical approach to review relevant literature on the topic and present various view points on matching and/or mismatching leaning styles with teaching styles.
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Individualism is the dominant value system in Western cultures and, as such, it affects the conduct of every aspect of human endeavour, including education. One of the most enduring effects on education has been the search for individual differences that can explain and predict variation in student achievement, with the hope that pedagogical methods can be designed that will capitalise on these. ‘Learning styles’ remain a popular choice for filling this role and the number of models of learning styles on offer continues to proliferate. Research conducted over the last 40 years has failed to show that individual attributes can be used to guide effective teaching practice. That ‘learning styles’ theory appeals to the underlying culture’s model of the person ensures the theory’s continued survival, despite the evidence against its utility. Rather than being a harmless fad, learning styles theory perpetuates the very stereotyping and harmful teaching practices it is said to combat.
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The purpose of the study was to explore the impact of teaching and learning style preferences and their match or mismatch on learners’ achievement. The sample consisted of 310 English Major Students and four lecturers from the Foreign Languages Faculty of Azad University, Iran. The Index of Learning Styles was used together with observations and interviews to collect data. The results of the study revealed that matching teaching and learning styles in EFL classes can help improve students’ achievement.
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College students (Experiment 1) and non-college adults (Experiment 2) studied a computer-based 31-frame lesson on electronics that offered help-screens containing text (text group) or illustrations (pictorial group), and then took a learning test. Participants also took a battery of 14 cognitive measures related to the verbalizer-visualizer dimension including tests of cognitive style, learning preference, spatial ability, and general achievement. In Experiment 3, college students received either both kinds of help-screens or none. Verbalizers and visualizers did not differ on the learning test, and almost all of the verbalizer-visualizer measures failed to produce significant attribute x treatment interactions (ATIs). There was not strong support for the hypothesis that verbal learners and visual learners should be given different kinds of multimedia instruction.
Aim: This paper considers the research evidence on brain plasticity and its relevance for education. Rationale: The human brain develops at a phenomenal rate typically reaching 95 percent of its adult size by 6 years of age. This paper highlights some of the structural, neurobiological, neurochemical and functional changes that are said to occur following early childhood. The implications for contemporary education are explored. Findings: There is ample evidence that the brain changes in respect of structure, synaptic density, neurotransmission, interconnectivity and functioning throughout childhood and adolescence. It is also increasingly evident that the brain's plasticity makes it susceptible to the influence of experience and the environment. Programmes have been developed which purport to draw on this neuroscience, but there is unease amongst neuroscientists that the science is being misrepresented. Examples of the appropriate use of neuroscience in education and clinical casework are discussed. Conclusions: Evidence of brain plasticity has the potential to positively influence education at the strategic, organisational and individual level. It is suggested that the most important contribution that neuroscience has made to education, to date, is to provoke a reconsideration of the prevailing philosophy of education. There is now an urgent need for professionals who can evaluate the claims of neuroscience and assist educationalists to harness the benefits for children and young people.
The acquisition of new skills in adulthood can positively affect an individual’s quality of life, including their earning potential. In some cases, such as the learning of literacy in developing countries, it can provide an avenue to escape from poverty. In developed countries, job retraining in adulthood contributes to the flexibility of labour markets. For all adults, learning opportunities increase participation in society and family life. However, the popular view is that adults are less able to learn for an intrinsic reason: their brains are less plastic than in childhood. This article reviews what is currently known from neuroscientific research about how brain plasticity changes with age, with a particular focus on the ability to acquire new skills in adulthood. Anchoring their review in the examples of the adult acquisition of literacy and new motor skills, the authors address five specific questions: (1) Are sensitive periods in brain development relevant to learning complex educational skills like literacy? (2) Can adults become proficient in a new skill? (3) Can everyone learn equally effectively in adulthood? (4) What is the role of the learning environment? (5) Does adult education cost too much? They identify areas where further research is needed and conclude with a summary of principles for enhancing adult learning now established on a neuroscience foundation.