OCR Psychology and Education: Section Two Learning and Teaching Styles

Notes on Section two of the OCR Psychology Education module, includes summaries of each of the related studies. Hope it's useful =]

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  • Created on: 27-04-09 21:10
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Learning && Teaching Styles
Teacher centred style = didactive approach
Bennett (1987) comparison of the effectiveness of formal vs. informal teaching styles on
871 questionnaires in primary schools in Cumbria and Lincolnshire
468 responses
Used a cluster analysis to find 12 different teaching styles from formal to informal
Then selected a sample of 37 teachers at extremes to compare the impact of three
Formal teachers were more likely to teach single subjects
Informal teachers taught a range of subjects
Mixed teachers had no set style
Gave students tests in maths and English to test progress
Findings support the effectiveness of traditional, formal teaching styles
The VARK typology
Was created in America and was developed by an American accelerated learning programme.
Psychometrics tests that show which means of learning enables a student to absorb more
information effectively and efficiently.
Focuses on the way in which information is presented and manipulated.
Gives a score on 4 preferred media and shows which area they are dominant in.
Four areas are auditory, who absorb the information they hear more effectively
Visual who prefer information in pictorial form
Read/write who prefer written word
Kinaesthetic learners who like tactile activities best
Teachers should be aware that many of us retain a preference for early modes of
presentation and should ensure that a variety of media and activities are incorporated into
Hemispheric lateralisation
This is a more physiological approach
The development of both hemispheres can be uneven, and therefore manifest
itself in a preference for one learning style
Barbra vitale Hemisphere dominance.....*
Can manifest in different skills and modes of consciousness
Many features of the two learning styles [skills and consciousness] are obvious but some
Symbolic thinkers deal more easily with abstract concepts such as formulae.
Sequential thinking struggle with concepts if they aren't in a logical order. Temporal learners
have a constant awareness of time, Etc
Vitale devised a 26 point scale to ascertain whether students are left or right hemisphere
Allows teacher to watch behaviour and identify learning style

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Kolb's typology*
Argues that learning styles must be broken into two dimensions, the perceptual continuum
and processing continuum
The first of these dimensions refers to which the way in which a person is most
comfortable transforming experiences so that they make sense. There are two extremes in
this continuum concrete experiencers [feelings] and abstract conceptulisers [thinking]
Processing styles describes the individuals preferred approach to dealing with tasks or
learning objectives.…read more

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Formulating learning style inventories, psychologists tread a fine line between validity and
usefulness.…read more


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