fun fact about the classic visual/audial/kinesthetic learning styles: there is literally no evidence that people learn better in the modality they self-report as best in

there is, however, a lot of evidence that providing multiple ways to engage with the instructional content improves learning for all learners

it's not really hard to see why, tbh. if, in conversation, someone could heard you fine but didnt understand something you said, you probably wouldnt clarify by repeating your exact words again but by phrasing things differently

so too, when material is only presented in a single context and mode within a lesson, that becomes a single point of failure.

anyone (and there will always be someone) who doesn't get it from that won't, in general, get it from *more* of that

but the theory of learning styles (that people (1) have set predispositions to learn in particular ways that (2) fall into a small number of distinct types and (3) are evident to the learners themselves) is almost comically resistant to experimental evidence

i think (1) is possibly true but would be difficult to isolate from all the other things that affect learning, but (2) and (3) are quite dubious

so like, maybe including multiple modalities in a lesson helps because there's a mix of learning styles at play. or maybe this is another case of curb-cut effect/universal design, where making additional learning resources available just kind of helps everyone, whether they would have got it without that help or not

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what's wild to me is that the exact people in education theory who will talk your ear off about growth mindset vs fixed mindset will also ask students to report their learning style as though, for many students, "i'm an X learner," won't immediately become a belief about their own learning used to justify disengaging from a lesson if they're struggling with it

@byttyrs i have not read enough foucault to say but probably nothing to sell the theory

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