I am writing a student news letter and I'm looking for statistics suggesting the diversity of learning styles, preferably with a citation.
Thanks and Regards,
There's very little neurological evidence that people have different "styles" of learning. They're good for adding variety for a class, but the idea that some students learn better visually and some learn better kinesthetically is simply not supported by the science. Wikipedia has a good overview and the links at the bottom might be useful, but it seems fairly clear that the well-run scientific studies show this hypothesis to be lacking.
Some psychologists and neuroscientists have questioned the scientific basis for and the theories on which they are based. According to Susan Greenfield the practice is "nonsense" from a neuroscientific point of view: "Humans have evolved to build a picture of the world through our senses working in unison, exploiting the immense interconnectivity that exists in the brain."
Many educational psychologists believe that there is little evidence for the efficacy of most learning style models, and furthermore, that the models often rest on dubious theoretical grounds. According to Stahl, 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."Basically, if a style of learning is more effective, it will be more effective for everyone.The panel concluded that an adequate evaluation of the learning styles hypothesis—the idea that optimal learning demands that students receive instruction tailored to their learning styles—requires a particular kind of study. Specifically, students should be grouped into the learning style categories that are being evaluated (e.g., visual learners vs. verbal learners), and then students in each group must be randomly assigned to one of the learning methods (e.g., visual learning or verbal learning), so that some students will be "matched" and others will be "mismatched". At the end of the experiment, all students must sit for the same test. If the learning style hypothesis is correct, then, for example, visual learners should learn better with the visual method, whereas auditory learners should learn better with auditory method. Notably, other authors have reached the same conclusion (e.g., Massa & Mayer, 2006).
As disclosed in the report, the panel found that studies utilizing this essential research design were virtually absent from the learning styles literature. In fact, the panel was able to find only a few studies with this research design, and all but one of these studies were negative findings—that is, they found that the same learning method was superior for all kinds of students (e.g., Massa & Mayer, 2006).