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Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
The authors' goal in this paper is to initiate a dialogue among educators who continue to make assertions about the usefulness of identifying students' learning styles with little or no research support. They discuss the status of learning style instruction and the unsubstantiated claims made by authors of learning style instruments and by instructors. They explore a number of key questions: (1) Are learning style instruments valid and reliable?; (2) Do students benefit when the type of instruction matches their preferred learning style?; and (3) More specifically, is there evidence that understanding one's learning style improves concentration, memory, self-confidence, and reduces anxiety, and leads to better grades? They conclude that learning style instruments have not been shown to be valid and reliable, there is no benefit to matching instruction to preferred learning style, and there is no evidence that understanding one's learning style improves learning and its related outcomes. They urge instructors to reconsider their instructional practices, especially the advice they give students about learning styles, and base their practices on sound research.