published in Frontiers in Education
investigates whether there is an association between students' self-reported preferred learning styles and teachers' evaluation of each student's learning style, and whether teachers' assessments are informed by their students' intellectual ability.
The term "learning styles" is used to account for differences in the way that individuals learn, and the idea that students learn better if teachers can tailor their teaching to a student's preferred style of learning, often described as either visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.
In the study conducted by Marietta Papadatou-Pastou and colleagues, 199 fifth and sixth-grade students from five schools in Athens, Greece, chose which was their preferred learning style (visual, auditory, or kinesthetic). They also completed a short IQ test (the Raven's matrices). Their teachers were asked to identify each of their student's preferred learning style. Each student's learning style was judged by one teacher.
There was no significant correlation between the teachers' judgments of their students' preferred learning styles and the students' own assessment. There was also no association between the teachers' judgments of their students' learning style and the students' intellectual ability, suggesting that the teachers were not using intellectual ability as a proxy for learning style.
In Best Evidence in Brief, we have previously reported research showing that there is no practical utility in knowing students' learning styles. This latest research reinforces this conclusion.