• unlimited access with print and download
    $ 37 00
  • read full document, no print or download, expires after 72 hours
    $ 4 99
More info
Unlimited access including download and printing, plus availability for reading and annotating in your in your Udini library.
  • Access to this article in your Udini library for 72 hours from purchase.
  • The article will not be available for download or print.
  • Upgrade to the full version of this document at a reduced price.
  • Your trial access payment is credited when purchasing the full version.
Buy
Continue searching

Students' learning style preferences and teachers' instructional strategies: Correlations between matched styles and academic achievement

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Mary Lynne Wilson
Abstract:
The purpose of the current study was to identify the extent to which learning styles influence the educational process as well as the outcome of students, particularly elementary-age students, in terms of academic achievement. This study examined the potential relationship between the degree of match (as determined by comparing learning style preferences of students with instructional strategies of teachers) and the academic achievement of fourth grade students as shown by Palmetto Assessment of State Standards scores in four academic content areas, namely English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The researcher collected data from a sample of approximately 200 students from three schools in different northwestern South Carolina districts. A quantitative approach utilizing a correlational design was used to analyze the data and produced Pearson r values for each content area respectively. These results demonstrate a lack of significant correlation between variable.

iii TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................. ii List of Tables ..................................................................................................................... vi List of Figures ................................................................................................................... vii List of Abbreviations ....................................................................................................... viii CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION ................................................................................. 1 Background ..................................................................................................................... 1 Problem Statement .......................................................................................................... 3 Purpose Statement ........................................................................................................... 3 Significance of the Study ................................................................................................ 4 Implications................................................................................................................. 4 Application .................................................................................................................. 4 Research Questions and Hypotheses .............................................................................. 5 Research Questions ..................................................................................................... 5 Null Hypotheses .......................................................................................................... 6 Identification of Variables .............................................................................................. 7 Operational Definitions ............................................................................................... 7 Conclusion ...................................................................................................................... 9 CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE .................................................... 11 Purpose .......................................................................................................................... 13 Sources of Data ............................................................................................................. 13 Diversity within the Learning Styles Field ................................................................... 14 Theoretical Foundations Underlying the Field of Learning Styles ........................... 15 Variations in Definitions and Exploration of Learning Styles .................................. 17 Implications of a Lack of Unity ................................................................................ 26 Influence of Learning Styles on Education ................................................................... 27 Teachers .................................................................................................................... 27 Students ..................................................................................................................... 37 The Question of Matching ........................................................................................ 40 Methodological Debate ................................................................................................. 47 Future Research ............................................................................................................ 48

iv Theoretical Framework for the Current Study .............................................................. 49 Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 51 CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY ......................................................................... 53 Introduction ................................................................................................................... 53 Research Design............................................................................................................ 53 Research Questions ................................................................................................... 54 Null Hypotheses ........................................................................................................ 55 Participants .................................................................................................................... 56 Setting ........................................................................................................................... 57 Instrumentation ............................................................................................................. 58 CAPSOL ® Styles of Learning Inventory .................................................................. 58 Instructional Strategy Record Sheet and Compilation Checklist .............................. 60 Standardized Tests of Achievement.......................................................................... 61 Procedures ..................................................................................................................... 64 Data Collection and Organization ............................................................................. 65 Data Analysis ................................................................................................................ 68 Summary of Methodology ............................................................................................ 70 CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS ......................................................................................... 71 Restatement of Purpose................................................................................................. 71 English Language Arts (ELA) ...................................................................................... 71 Research Question 1 ................................................................................................. 72 Null Hypothesis 1 ..................................................................................................... 72 English Language Arts Results ................................................................................. 72 Mathematics .................................................................................................................. 75 Research Question 2 ................................................................................................. 75 Null Hypothesis 2 ..................................................................................................... 75 Mathematics Results ................................................................................................. 75 Science .......................................................................................................................... 77 Research Question 3 ................................................................................................. 78 Null Hypothesis 3 ..................................................................................................... 78 Science Results ......................................................................................................... 78 Social Studies ................................................................................................................ 81 Research Question 4 ................................................................................................. 81 Null Hypothesis 4 ..................................................................................................... 81

v Social Studies Results ............................................................................................... 81 Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 84 CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION ..................................................................................... 86 Summary of Findings .................................................................................................... 86 Discussion ..................................................................................................................... 87 Implications................................................................................................................... 89 Delimitations and Limitations ....................................................................................... 91 Delimitations ............................................................................................................. 91 Limitations in Design ................................................................................................ 91 Limitations in Data ................................................................................................... 93 Recommendations for Future Research ........................................................................ 96 Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 98 REFERENCES ............................................................................................................... 100 APPENDIX A ................................................................................................................. 114 School Administrative Official Letter/Consent Form................................................. 114 APPENDIX B ................................................................................................................. 118 Teacher Letter/Consent Form ..................................................................................... 118 APPENDIX C ................................................................................................................. 121 Parent/Guardian Consent Form................................................................................... 121 APPENDIX D ................................................................................................................. 124 Child Assent Form ...................................................................................................... 124 APPENDIX E ................................................................................................................. 125 Instructions for Completing Instructional Strategy Record Sheet .............................. 125 APPENDIX F.................................................................................................................. 126 Sample Instructional Strategy Record Sheet............................................................... 126 APPENDIX G ................................................................................................................. 126 Instructional Strategy Record Sheet............................................................................ 127 APPENDIX H ................................................................................................................. 131 Compilation Checklist for Instructional Strategies ..................................................... 131 APPENDIX I .................................................................................................................. 131 Cumulative Accommodation Data Sheet .................................................................... 132

vi List of Tables Table 1 – Cut Score Standards for PASS Test …………………………………………..63

vii List of Figures Figure 1. Frequency Histogram of English Language Arts Degree of Match Scores (ELADOM) ……………………………………………………………………...73 Figure 2. Frequency Histogram of English Language Arts PASS Test Scores (ELAPASS) ……………………………………………………………………..73 Figure 3. Scatter Plot Displaying Relationship between English Language Arts Degree of Match (ELADOM) and PASS Test Scores (ELAPASS) ………………………..74 Figure 4. Frequency Histogram of Mathematics Degree of Match Scores (MATHDOM) ……………………………………………………………………………………76 Figure 5. Frequency Histogram of Mathematics PASS Test Scores (MATHPASS) …..76 Figure 6. Scatter Plot Displaying Relationship between Mathematics Degree of Match (MATHDOM) and PASS Test Scores (MATHPASS) ………………………….77 Figure 7. Frequency Histogram of Science Degree of Match Scores (SCIDOM) ……………………………………………………………………………………79 Figure 8. Frequency Histogram of Science PASS Test Scores (SCIPASS) …………....79 Figure 9. Scatter Plot Displaying Relationship between Science Degree of Match (SCIDOM) and PASS Test Scores (SCIPASS) ………………………………....80 Figure 10. Frequency Histogram of Social Studies Degree of Match Scores (SOCDOM) ……………………………………………………………………………………82 Figure 11. Frequency Histogram of Social Studies PASS Test Scores (SOCPASS) …..83 Figure 12. Scatter Plot Displaying Relationship between Social Studies Degree of Match (SOCDOM) and PASS Test Scores (SOCPASS) ……………………………….84

viii List of Abbreviations Computerized Assessment Program Styles of Learning (CAPSOL ® ) Differentiated Item Functioning (DIF) English Language Arts (ELA) Individualized Education Program (IEP) Intelligence Quotient (IQ) MyersBriggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) Standard Error of Measurement (SEM)

1 CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION Background An abundance of information exists concerning learning styles and their implications for learning and teaching. According to Zapalska and Dabb (2002), an understanding of the way students learn improves the selection of teaching strategies best suited to student learning. For students, this matching of instructional strategies to their individual learning styles has “consistently evidenced positive results” in empirical studies (Minotti, 2005, p. 84). Although some researchers deny there is a statistically significant correlation between learning style and performance, many of these researchers acknowledge there is likely an educational benefit from the use of varied modalities in instructional practice (Hall & Moseley, 2005; Karns, 2006; Kratzig & Arbuthnott, 2006; Pashler, McDaniel, Rohrer, & Bjork, 2009). Educational and psychological theorists have identified several major types and categories of learning styles, and researchers have observed and recorded the effect of these various styles on student achievement in school (Reiff, 1992). Some prominent ways of identifying learning styles include learning modalities (Barbe, Swassing, & Milone, 1979), multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1999), and several distinct learning style models (Dunn & Burke, 2006; Felder, 1996). These varied conceptualizations of student learning preferences led to the review and development of numerous teaching styles. These include teachercentered, experiential, and differentiated instruction, as well as various instructional model approaches and the incorporation of brainbased techniques (Caine, & Caine, 1991; Denig, 2004; Loo, 2004). Researchers have

2 conducted numerous studies concerning the influence of various learning styles and instructional methods on student learning and achievement (Collinson, 2000; Minotti, 2005). Dunn et al. (2009) asserted that valid and reliable instruments are available for assessing the learning styles of students of all ages; additionally, they claimed educators can effectively utilize results gathered from such assessments to develop instructional lessons that are responsive to student needs. Meeting the needs of students is essential if educators are to make substantial progress toward the goal of developing lifelong learners (Williamson & Watson, 2007). Learning style theories have been cited as an effective means for helping teachers recognize the incredibly diverse needs students bring into the classroom (Dunn, Denig, & Lovelace, 2001; Felder & Brent, 2005; Hall & Mosely, 2005; Sternberg, Grigorenko, & Zhang, 2008; Williamson & Watson, 2007). In addition, Williamson and Watson claimed these theories provide a framework that enables teachers to knowledgably develop a variety of instructional methodologies to benefit all students. This certainly extends to students with identified special learning needs, and Guild (2001) even suggested that some identified students may simply be exhibiting difficulties associated with a mismatch between teaching and learning styles. Although there is a broad theoretical foundation for the existence of learning styles, the need remains for further research concerning the relationship between learning styles and academic success (CanoGarcia & Hughes, 2000; Romanelli, Bird, & Ryan, 2009). Indeed, significant debate still surrounds the issue of learning styles and its function in the instructional process (Sharp, Bowker, & Byrne, 2008). Particularly, researchers have not thoroughly explored the links between learning styles and achieved

3 outcomes of the learning process, thus hindering practical implementation of learning styles theory in instructional practice (Romanelli et al., 2009). Past research has predominately focused on identifying individuals’ learning style preferences and patterns (Romanelli et al.). While this was purportedly beneficial for teachers in selecting and developing instructional practices, research along those lines often took the form of studies evaluating the implementation of specific learning or instructional style models (Goby & Lewis, 2000; Lovelace, 2005; Noble, 2004). Additionally, the majority of studies pertaining to learning styles involved participants in secondary or postsecondary education (Sharp et al., 2008); thus, the role learning styles may play in the achievement of primary grade students needs further investigation. Problem Statement It is essential, therefore, to conduct additional research identifying the extent to which learning styles influence the educational process as well as the outcome of students, particularly elementaryage students, in terms of academic achievement. Further, it is imperative that some of this research occur in authentic learning environments that do not appear sterile or contrived in an effort to maintain pure objectivity. In addition, a collective view of learning styles integrating several dominant components of various theories could make the application of potential findings more realistic and effective for use in the typical classroom. Purpose Statement Thus, the purpose of the study was to conduct an examination of student learning style preferences and teachers’ instructional practices, exploring the extent to which these were matched in a typical classroom setting. The researcher then paired the observed

4 degree of match with students’ academic achievement to detect potential relationships. The researcher recognized characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, and the presence or absence of special learning needs may affect the potential relationships between the level of matched learning and teaching strategies and student achievement; however, the current study did not consider these factors. Significance of the Study Implications While, by nature, a correlational study cannot afford a statement of cause and effect, it is capable of providing researchers and educators alike with valuable information. This study aimed to assist teachers in understanding the various learning styles favored by themselves and their students. In addition, the researcher hoped to gather enough information to help teachers recognize the important relationship between the instructional strategies they utilize and the success their students may experience. If indeed significant relationships are exposed, further credibility is afforded the theory that learning styles play an important role in how well students achieve academically. The instruments utilized in the study could then become a means to assist teachers in continued selfreflection as they monitor their instructional strategies and attempt to incorporate a wider variety of methods in their teaching repertoire. Application The researcher was interested in obtaining the results and observing any potential patterns in teacher learning styles and instructional strategies in addition to the main query of this study. This could provide the basis for further research, as could any specific relationships between particular learning styles, instructional strategies, and

5 population subgroups. A wide range of prospective benefits may be obtained for teachers of all students if significant relationships are found for both students who have and have not been identified as having special educational needs. This could provide an impetus for increased differentiation in regular education classrooms, which would enable higher levels of success for all students as well as having the potential to ease the discomfort some teachers feel about inclusion. In addition, the results of the study may provide motivation and direction for an increased thrust in providing relevant teacher training concerning the concept of learning styles and matched instructional strategies. Research Questions and Hypotheses Prior research and theory as well as personal observations served as the foundation upon which the study was developed. In an attempt to expand the knowledge base in the field of education, the following research questions, with their related hypotheses, were developed and served as the guiding force of the study. Research Questions 1. Is there a significant relationship between the degree of match (as determined by comparing learning style preferences of students with instructional strategies of teachers) and the achievement of fourth grade English language arts students as shown by Palmetto Assessment of State Standards scores? 2. Is there a significant relationship between the degree of match (as determined by comparing learning style preferences of students with instructional strategies of teachers) and the achievement of fourth grade mathematics students as shown by Palmetto Assessment of State Standards scores? 3. Is there a significant relationship between the degree of match (as determined

6 by comparing learning style preferences of students with instructional strategies of teachers) and the achievement of fourth grade science students as shown by Palmetto Assessment of State Standards scores? 4. Is there a significant relationship between the degree of match (as determined by comparing learning style preferences of students with instructional strategies of teachers) and the achievement of fourth grade social studies students as shown by Palmetto Assessment of State Standards scores? Null Hypotheses 1. There is no significant relationship between the degree of match (as determined by comparing learning style preferences of students with instructional strategies of teachers) and the achievement of fourth grade English language arts students as shown by Palmetto Assessment of State Standards scores. 2. There is no significant relationship between the degree of match (as determined by comparing learning style preferences of students with instructional strategies of teachers) and the achievement of fourth grade mathematics students as shown by Palmetto Assessment of State Standards scores. 3. There is no significant relationship between the degree of match (as determined by comparing learning style preferences of students with instructional strategies of teachers) and the achievement of fourth grade science students as shown by Palmetto Assessment of State Standards scores. 4. There is no significant relationship between the degree of match (as

7 determined by comparing learning style preferences of students with instructional strategies of teachers) and the achievement of fourth grade social studies students as shown by Palmetto Assessment of State Standards scores. Identification of Variables The variables investigated in the current study included the academic achievement and the degree of match between students’ learning style preferences and teachers’ instructional strategies. These terms appear throughout the study and refer to specific ideas related to the research conducted. The following section provides operational definitions for these and other relevant terms in order to ensure accurate and consistent understanding in relation to the current study. Operational Definitions Academic achievement refers to the achievement levels of students in all academic content areas (English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies,) as indicated by results of a standardized achievement test. Degree of match illustrates the extent to which obtained indications of students’ learning style preferences are similar to indications of teachers’ instructional style accommodations for each of the learning style elements addressed in the study. Pairing students’ high, moderate, or low learning style preference scores with teachers’ high, moderate, or low accommodation scores produced degree of match scores of zero, one, or two. A complete match (e.g. high preference/high accommodation) received a score of zero, a complete mismatch (e.g. high preference/low accommodation) received a score of one, and a near match (e.g. high preference/moderate accommodation) received a score of one. Thus, pairwise comparison of these indications produced a degree of match

8 score ranging from zero to 18for each student in each of the four academic content areas included in the study. Instructional strategies are teaching methods and practices utilized to conduct a learning activity as reported by the teachers and paired in checklist form by the researcher and a panel of terminally degreed educators with the learning styles identified in the CAPSOL ® (Computerized Assessment Program Styles of Learning) Inventory. Learning styles are approaches by which students prefer to learn as measured by the CAPSOL ® Inventory. CAPSOL ® defines the learning styles identified by the inventory as follows: Auditory: The learner's preference for listening, understanding spoken directions, following logic that is explained verbally, and addressing background soundswhether supportive or disruptive. Visual: The learner's preference for visually gathering and comprehending information through reading, observing models, maps, graphic organizers, charts, and demonstrations, and to internalize their own perspective. Bodily Kinesthetic: The learner's preference for understanding by actively touching, manipulating, arranging, acting, showing, and experimenting with various physical approaches by experiencing firsthand. Individual: The learner's preference for addressing acquisition of knowledge from an individual perspective, comparing new information with previous experience and reflecting understanding through their own opinions and modes of perception. Group: The learner's preference for collaboration with one or more other

9 students in planning, discussing, sharing responsibility, organizing, listening, and supporting a point of view leading to a product. Oral Expressive: The learner's preference for expressing their understanding and insight through spoken description or through questioning of ideas, concepts or facts. Written Expressive: The learner's preference for expressing their understanding and insight through written descriptions, questioning, word processing emphasizing cut/paste approaches, and drawing conclusions. Sequential: The learner's preference for information and procedures that are based on logic, timeliness, ordering, prioritizing, and inferencing, including timelines, flocharts [sic], diagrams, etc. Global: The learner's preference for "big picture" understanding and addressing information whole to part, internalizing the "why", wanting to know what will this become, and if I learn this information, where can I apply it in the real world. (CAPSOL ® Styles of Learning, n.d., Styles of Learning page) Standardized achievement tests are any tests “with specific content, prescribed directions for administering and scoring, norms, and reliability and validity information derived from administration to representative samples” (Ary, Jacobs, Razavieh, & Sorensen, 2006, p. 639). Conclusion This chapter included an introduction to the problem addressed in the current study and provided the reader with an overview of the purpose of the research. In addition, the chapter delineated the research questions and related null hypotheses and

10 provided operational definitions for relevant terms. Chapter two will outline the review of the literature, covering the diversity within the learning styles field, the influence of learning styles on education, and the methodological debate surrounding learning styles research. The subsequent chapter concerning methodology details the research design and procedures for the current study. Chapter four presents the results and statistical analysis of the collected data, while the final chapter includes a discussion of the findings, implications for practice, and recommendations for future research.

11 CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE The study of learning styles has received significant attention in recent years, and in a time when academic achievement is under scrutiny, it is vital that educators know and utilize the best possible methods for helping students learn successfully. When Koch (2007) questioned renowned learning styles expert, Rita Dunn, about the No Child Left Behind Act (2001), she responded by stating that no research has indicated that increased testing leads to increased achievement. Although she acknowledged that testing is an important aspect, she declared that only changes in instruction would produce higher levels of achievement. Fortunately, the educational world is opening up to the importance of understanding the various ways students learn and recognizing the vital role this plays in attaining widespread academic success (Collinson, 2000). In fact, results of a recent study indicated teachers benefit from developing an understanding of how they and others learn as well as the effect this has on their teaching (Evans & Waring, 2006). This does not mean, however, that all educators have come to an agreement on the definition, descriptions, or implications of learning styles. Instead, there are an ever increasing number of theories and models being developed to address this issue. Potentially causing further confusion is the fact that many of these models have a similar theoretical base and share foundational components while they maintain significant variations. According to Collinson (2000), researchers building upon previous ideas and methodologies develop unique terms and definitions, expand (or contract) the base of included factors, and broaden (or narrow) the horizons of instructional approaches, all of

12 which collectively conceal the overlapping qualities of their work. Perhaps one factor underlying this issue is the increasingly common view that learning styles are a combination of cognitive, affective, and physiological factors that merge to define each student’s unique approach to effective learning (Collinson, 2000). Often, different researchers have chosen to focus exclusively on a certain set of factors, leaving educators with the need to study multiple theories and models in order to understand the needs and preferences of all the students they encounter in their classes. An additional concern is that, while research and classroom experience confirms the existence of different learning styles, visits to schools throughout the world might convince one otherwise. Although Guild (2001) asserted that educators are cognizant of the diversity of the learners who populate their classrooms, he acknowledged that, regrettably, they typically maintain a singular approach to teaching. This uniformity in practice negates any benefits of the stated awareness (Guild, 2001). Moreover, educators who maintain a limited understanding of the differences among individual learners are likely to seek one paramount approach as the answer to all teaching and learning (Guild, 2001). Likewise, Evans and Waring (2006) discovered a majority of teachers involved in their study typically utilized an approach based upon transmitting information rather than one specifically geared toward the development of students’ understanding. However, historical evidence has all but proven no single approach will ensure success for all learners. Thus, educators must abandon this singular mentality and realize the essential necessity of endeavoring to develop a true understanding of learning differences and striving to provide instruction that is intentionally diverse (Guild, 2001).

13 Purpose The purpose of this literature review is to examine various approaches to understanding learning styles, looking at the models developed in an attempt to define learning styles and explain their influence on acquiring knowledge. In addition, this literature review explores multiple teaching styles designed to address the issue of learning styles in an effort to meet students’ needs more effectively. Finally, this literature review intends to provide an investigation of prior and current research concerning the influence of having both unmatched and matched teaching and learning styles. Sources of Data In order to achieve the goals of the literature review, the researcher gathered information from various sources, including scholarly journal articles, books, and pertinent organizational websites. From sources reviewed, the researcher also examined the reference lists for citations identifying further sources that might be relevant to the current review. Conduction of the vast majority of research used the EBSCOhost platform to search multiple databases for relevant theoretical and research articles. These databases included, but were not limited to Academic Search Complete, Education Research Complete, and ERIC. Keyword searches facilitated the finding of articles pertaining to the following terms: learning styles, learning style preferences, instructional strategies, teaching strategies, and academic achievement. The researcher chose these terms in an attempt to target the search to those publications that were most relevant to the research question explored in this study, namely the effect of matched learning and teaching styles on students’ academic achievement. Review of the attained results led to

14 an organization of information by topic. Articles selected for inclusion in this review fell into two basic categories, which led to the general outline of this review. The first category was comprised of scholarly publications of historical or theoretical significance in regards to broad learning style theory and specific learning style models. The second category of articles selected were research publications disseminating empirical evidence concerning the effects of learning and teaching styles on academic achievement. Several research studies were not included because they explicitly focused on instructional approaches tied to a particular learning style model or because they studied only students in secondary or higher education. Omission of these articles from the review resulted from a focus deemed too narrow or not particularly generalizable to typical classroombased instruction of elementaryaged students, which is the focus of this particular study. Diversity within the Learning Styles Field Although there is considerable interest in the subject of learning styles among educators and parents alike, there is a noted lack of unity within the field (Hall & Moseley, 2005; Pashler et al., 2009). Between 1902 and 2002, learning styles theory expanded significantly, with no fewer than 71 different models published during this 100 year period. While many of these models share some characteristics, each has a unique perspective, focusing uniquely on student preferences, abilities, and even preferences based on ability (Hall & Mosely). Researchers have made various attempts to classify the wide variety of learning style models and thereby bring greater unity to the field (Felder & Brent, 2005; Hall & Moseley; Sternberg et al. 2008). However, in order to understand fully the relationships between the diverse models, it is necessary to recognize

15 first the theoretical foundations underlying them. These include both BrainBased Educational Theory and the Approaches to Learning Model. Theoretical Foundations Underlying the Field of Learning Styles Both the BrainBased Educational Theory and The Approaches to Learning Model have relevance to the study of student achievement in relation to learning style preferences and instructional strategies. Further classification systems rely upon these basic theoretical differences as a basis for organizing the wide variety of specific models. For example, systems have been presented in which learning style models are classified as ability or personalitybased (Sternberg et al., 2008); as related to learning styles, approaches to learning, or intellectual development (Felder & Brent, 2005); and using a continuum from a focus on fixed traits to a greater emphasis on personal preferences and orientations (Hall & Moseley, 2005). Brain-based educational theory. BrainBased Educational Theory involves exploring the ways by which the brain works to facilitate learning. It takes into consideration the natural and physiological processes that occur during learning and uses this understanding to guide educational practice. Understanding the functions of the brain and incorporating this in designing learning experiences can significantly improve the effectiveness of student learning (Caine & Caine, 1991). BrainBased Educational Theory is also exemplified by Howard Gardner's conceptualization of Multiple Intelligences. According to Dunn et al. (2001), Gardner’s theory which includes nine intelligences (linguistic, logicalmathematical, spatial, kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic, and existential) identifies intelligence as having much greater scope than what is measured in terms of test scores in language and mathematics; rather,

16 instead of demanding mastery of academic content, it encourages the development of each student's inherent potential. Approaches to learning model. One may view the Approaches to Learning Model in terms of learning styles or learning approaches. While some proponents argue they are two distinct schools of thought, one can also conceptualize them as an integrated construct (Cuthbert, 2005). Learning styles, and the related cognitive styles, typically refer to individual preferences for responding to situations and data and for comprehending experiences and developing knowledge from them. Learning approaches, on the other hand, deal more with the intentions students have for different learning tasks, which then result in different learning outcomes (Cuthbert). Considering the inclusion of both learning styles and approaches to learning, this model has numerous proponents, each with a unique twist on the same basic concept that individuals have preferences for the ways in which they learn. One particularly wellknown model is that of Dunn and Dunn, which defines learning style as “the way in which each person begins to concentrate on, process, internalize, and remember new and difficult academic content” (Dunn et al., 2001, Examining Learning Styles Section). Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory and the Perceptual Learning Styles Theory are two additional examples of specific theories founded in the Approaches to Learning Model (Cuthbert, 2005; Davis, 2007; Kolb & Kolb, 2009). While they focus on different characteristics, with Kolb’s model focusing on grasping and transforming experiences (Kolb & Kolb) and the Perceptual Learning Style Theory dealing with multiple modality preferences for how individuals interact with information and conduct learning tasks (Davis, 2007), they both incorporate the concept that individual learning differences influence the learning process

Full document contains 143 pages
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to identify the extent to which learning styles influence the educational process as well as the outcome of students, particularly elementary-age students, in terms of academic achievement. This study examined the potential relationship between the degree of match (as determined by comparing learning style preferences of students with instructional strategies of teachers) and the academic achievement of fourth grade students as shown by Palmetto Assessment of State Standards scores in four academic content areas, namely English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The researcher collected data from a sample of approximately 200 students from three schools in different northwestern South Carolina districts. A quantitative approach utilizing a correlational design was used to analyze the data and produced Pearson r values for each content area respectively. These results demonstrate a lack of significant correlation between variable.