The “styles” of learning, a myth

meme-on-peut-avoir-preference(Quebec) Are you visual, auditory or kinesthetic? No matter, because adapting instruction based on these different learning styles would have no effect on the chances of success.

The researcher Steve Masson, of the University of Quebec in Montreal is well aware that attacks a myth “widespread” in schools when he is demonstrating this statement.

The researcher Steve Masson, of the University of Quebec in Montreal is well aware that attacks a myth “widespread” in schools when he is demonstrating this statement. Many were surprised the air on the faces of the delegates who attended his lecture Thursday at the Convention Center at the annual symposium of the Canadian Education Association.

“When we say there is no evidence to support this idea of ​​learning styles, it’s a little brusquant initially,” says he. Based on recent discoveries in neuroscience (who examine brain function) Dr. Masson argues that although there may be a preference to learn visually, hearing or handling objects (kinesthetic), one learns not better in one way or another.

Also, it is not true according to Mr. Masson that some students are more “left brain” (logical) and other “right brain” (creative). Finally, coordination exercises, as popularized by the company Brain Gym, have no effect on student achievement.

“Some of these myths are based on the desire of teachers to teach the best students because they have found that each student is different,” he says. And books published to date on the functioning of the brain were based more on cognitive psychology than science itself.


Through his research, Dr. Masson suggests that the brain is malleable and changes as as he learns. Connections between neurons can be shed or at the option of learning.

And such paths that we borrowed in the forest, the more we will often walk into a brain the way, it will be more solid and clear, so easy access. In fact, more often ask his brain to find the way to retrieve stored information, the easier it is to remember. So to have learned.

Teachers, Mr. Masson suggests to test most often students. “We are not obliged to sanction all the time, giving a rating, but to get feedback, mini-tests, examinations or exercises to ensure they have understood, it helps to keep the brain active “he said at the conference.

It would also be advantageous to teach every subject in blocks of about 30 minutes, to allow more frequent breaks to the brain.

For their part, the students learn better if they hide their lecture notes behind their back, instead of just read them. Be questioned by his parents or friends would also be beneficial.

Influence Ministries
The Canadian Education Association, funded by the Ministries of Education of the different provinces, is considered a reference in the field. Its president, Ron Canuel, argues that all their recommendations are based on meta-analyzes, or the compilation of a series of studies. But even if the deputies attended the symposium, Mr. Canuel regrets that Research Association are reflected little or no in the policies adopted. ”

It is often found, unfortunately, that decisions are not based on research, they are taken simply because it makes people happy. ” According to him, if we relied more on science, it “would be fewer debates on almost unnecessary points” and fewer changes of educational directives over the years in schools.

The Stopru