Thursday, February 02, 2006

Everybody's different, we're all the same

The following sentences from this article on learning styles, show something that has been driving me nuts lately.

Studies have shown that everyone takes in information differently.

A number of teachers are not aware that while some students learn by
auditory and visual means, others have a primarily kinesthetic style.
The first sentence implies that we are all as different as snowflakes when it comes to how we take in information. If that's true, you can't make any generalizations about how people learn. But the second sentence clearly makes the generalization that there are two basic learning styles.

It's not the contraditiction that bothers me so much. It's the failure to notice that there are conflicting theories here. Either each person is a unique individual and can differ from every other person in an infinite number of ways, or there are basic human patterns that we all fit into so we can only differ in very prescribed ways.

I'm not sure that two is the correct number of learning styles, but I tend to agree with the second approach when it comes to describing human psychology. But I could be wrong.

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