Discuss a thesis statement about learning styles of students.Discuss a thesis statement about learning styles of students.

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James Kelley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Like pohnpei397, I'm skeptical of the claim that different people have radically different learning styles and that different learners can be classified as belonging to entirely separate groups. If I were writing an argumentative essay on this topic, then, I would present a thesis statement that addressed the widespread popularity of the belief in learning styles followed by a challenge to this belief. Here’s a possible thesis statement:

“There are widespread claims that different people have radically different learning styles. While there are certain to be differences in the ways in which people learn best, these differences are easily distorted and exaggerated, making relatively minor differences appear to be enormously important ones.”

This argument would not deny that differences exist, but it would challenge the immensely popular belief that some learners are “visual” while others are “auditory” or “kinesthetic.” The claim that learning styles” truly exist has, in fact, been widely criticized. See, for example:

Curry, L. (1990). "One critique of the research on learning styles". Educational Leadership 48: 50–56.

Henry, Julie (29 July 2007). "Professor pans 'learning style' teaching method". The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1558822/Professor-pans-learning-style-teaching-method.html. Retrieved 29 August 2010.

Pashler, H.; McDaniel, M.; Rohrer, D.; Bjork, R. (2009). "Learning styles: Concepts and evidence". Psychological Science in the Public Interest 9: 105–119.)

In an argumentative essay of my own, I would consider ending the essay by exploring why the idea of individualized learning styles has achieved such tremendous popularity. (Myths become popular and widespread because they serve some useful function.) This part of the essay would be speculative, of course, but would be fun to write. One possible reason to explore would be that the idea of learning styles allows for an excuse for not learning (as in “It’s not my fault. I’m not a visual learner”). Another possible reason would be that the idea of learning styles emphasizes the individual student; in an era of increased regimentation in the classroom and of standardized testing, everyone may be more willing than ever to embrace a model that emphasizes the individual student.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As with all thesis statements, much of this is going to depend on the task description as well as what evidence you have.  Without knowing both of these, it is difficult to suggest a thesis statement.  I think that there could be some very interesting work or thesis statements put forth about how teaching to different learning styles can be embraced in an educational setting increasingly driven by standardized test scores.  The issue at hand is how differentiation of instruction can be advocated while ensuring student success on high stakes standardized assessment.  It would be very interesting to examine research in this forum as it embraces both differentiated instruction and the impact of standardized assessment on pedagogy.  However, the wording of the thesis statement should be in convergence with what is being asked to prove and what evidence is possessed regarding the impact of learning styles of students in the instruction process.  Like formulating all thesis statements, these considerations are extremely important in the construction of a thesis statement.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You really need to know what aspect of this issue you are interested in.

You might want to write an essay that argues that learning styles really don't exist or that there is no real way to objectively test whether students really do have different learning styles.  You might want to write an essay that looks at whether different learning styles really can be accomodated in various subjects.  For example, how are you going to teach what the Constitution says in a way that is suited for someone with a kinesthetic learning style?

One way or the other, we can't really tell you what to say for your thesis until we know what you want to argue.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In accord with the first post, research on this topic is essential.  As extensive research has been made in this area, you will easily obtain pertinent information.  In recent years, more directive measures have been made to enable those of different learning styles to approach the academic courses in a manner that will benefit them in their apprehension of concepts.  So, you may wish to examine these newer approaches that work towards educating students in the same direction as that which they best use in their learning.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your thesis must be something that can be argued and proved by your research. I like the idea a previous poster had connecting the need to teach to learning styles even though standardized testing might seem to negate that. You might argue that whether learning styles are addressed in the academic setting is driven by the SES of the particular student group. Any number of issues could be argued, but it will depend upon both your research and your personal philosophy.

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator
As the previous posts have indicated, you will need to decide what type of evidence you will representing in your paper before you can formulate your thesis. You may want to considerinterviewing some of your teachers. They can be a great primary information source because they speak from first hand experience. Of course, they're not going to write your thesis for you, but they may give you an idea of where to start.
lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Another possible angle for a paper like this is to think about how YOU learn best, and then research strategies that would complement your own learning style.  The process of thinking about your thinking is called meta-cognition, and it can be a valuable tool in learning to learn.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
The first thing that occurred to me is that many learning styles systems have been discredited.
sunriseacd | Student

Learning style varies with students and usually they adopt a pattern they feel comfortable with.  But teachers should guide the students if they are following a wrong method of lerning for a given subject.  Whille guiding  the students, care should be taken that factors like the general ability, retention power, are considered. At the end of the day, what is more pertinent would be if the student has aquired the desired result or not.