If you are trying to inculcate good study habits in your children, or if you're simply engrossed with how the learning brain operates, or as in my case, both, you need to read this.
For one thing, it will make you feel better about what you always knew about studying but your mom and the experts told you otherwise. They said study in the same place all the time, minimize distractions, etc. But you instinctively knew you studied best to music, lying on the floor while snacking.
For another thing, it helps to debunk what I've thought for a long time--that all the hoopla about different learning styles is way overdone and really has no basis in scientific research.
One of the reasons I've doubted it is because of my own personal brain quirks. I've always thought of myself as a visual learner, but there are whole areas where I don't learn visually. You've heard people say, "I can't remember names, but I never forget a face"? Well I'm the opposite. I remember the names but I can meet you today and not remember your face the day after tomorrow. I used to think of that as a moral failing, but I've learned that it's just the way my brain works (or doesn't). To make it even more confusing, I can probably identify by face on TV 90 out of 100 U.S. senators, and maybe 30% of U.S. representatives. I can hear the voices of most of them without looking at their faces and tell you who they are. If I don't know their names after hearing their voices, I can probably at least tell you their party affiliation. Isn't that weird? And yet let me meet one of The Papa's co-workers at a Christmas party and then run into him at the grocery store later in the week, and I won't think I've ever met him.
Learning styles are neither as set nor as universal as the past generation of experts has led us to believe. Some kids learn math best visually and literature aurally. Some kids learn science kinesthetically but a hands-on treatment won't help them learn history. And some of us learn best visually at one point in our lives and aurally in another. Moreover, I believe after working with quite a few children that just because they've been tagged as a visual learner doesn't mean you need to use a curriculum with them that is predominantly visual. That may even stunt their growth in other areas by helping them to believe they can only learn one way.
Lecture over. Read this and see what you think.
Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits
hat tip: The Papa