SXSWedu 2016

The Myth of the Learning Style Holds Students Back


Many education experts argue that there are as many as 19 different learning styles. While this seems large, from a cognitive perspective, it does not even begin to scratch the surface on the millions of ways students can solve one problem. In fact, very few studies have found evidence of learning styles and the idea that students fit neatly in a certain style, such as auditory or visual learners, is counterproductive. Despite this, a recent international survey of teachers in the UK, China and other countries found that 96 percent of respondents believed in the notion of preferred learning styles.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Debunk the myth of the learning style
  2. Deciphering if the learning style myth perpetuates poor performance
  3. Discussing how educators can accommodate millions of different learning styles without demotivating particular groups of students


  • Ulrik Christensen, Senior Fellow, Digital Learning, McGraw Hill Education
  • James Stigler, Professor, UCLA


Brian Belardi, Dir, Communications, McGraw-Hill Education

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