Falta de evidencia científica que apoye la idea de los «estilos de aprendizaje»

Una carta de un buen número de investigadores que reivindican la falta de evidencia científica sobre la existencia de los «estilos de aprendizaje», critican la utilidad real y práctica de crear «materiales adaptados» a estilos de aprendizaje individualizados y plantean que en torno a este «neuromito» existe todo un ejército de charlatanes.

Esto último no lo dicen, pero vamos, hay evidencia científica de ello. Sólo hay que poner coach y educación en google y te sale un muestreo brutal.

Sigo cada día más aterrorizado de cómo todo lo que ya ha fallado en otros países es ahora mismo religión en España. La LOMCE en casi toda su fundamentación trataba de abrir las puertas a copiar el sistema educativo inglés, cuando el mismo lleva fallando ya más de una década.

Por raro que parezca lo que voy a decir, estas generaciones están en parte a salvo gracias al BOE y sus currículos inabarcables…



aperturacomillaspngNo evidence to back idea of learning styles

Primary classroom
‘The claim that students will perform better when the teaching is matched to their preferred learning style is simply not supported by science,’ writes Bruce Hood. Photograph: Alamy

There is widespread interest among teachers in the use of neuroscientific research findings in educational practice. However, there are also misconceptions and myths that are supposedly based on sound neuroscience that are prevalent in our schools. We wish to draw attention to this problem by focusing on an educational practice supposedly based on neuroscience that lacks sufficient evidence and so we believe should not be promoted or supported.

Generally known as “learning styles”, it is the belief that individuals can benefit from receiving information in their preferred format, based on a self-report questionnaire. This belief has much intuitive appeal because individuals are better at some things than others and ultimately there may be a brain basis for these differences. Learning styles promises to optimise education by tailoring materials to match the individual’s preferred mode of sensory information processing.

There are, however, a number of problems with the learning styles approach. First, there is no coherent framework of preferred learning styles. Usually, individuals are categorised into one of three preferred styles of auditory, visual or kinesthetic learners based on self-reports. One study found that there were more than 70 different models of learning styles including among others, “left v right brain,” “holistic v serialists,” “verbalisers v visualisers” and so on. The second problem is that categorising individuals can lead to the assumption of fixed or rigid learning style, which can impair motivation to apply oneself or adapt.

Finally, and most damning, is that there have been systematic studies of the effectiveness of learning styles that have consistently found either no evidence or very weak evidence to support the hypothesis that matching or “meshing” material in the appropriate format to an individual’s learning style is selectively more effective for educational attainment. Students will improve if they think about how they learn but not because material is matched to their supposed learning style. The Educational Endowment Foundation in the UK has concluded that learning styles is “Low impact for very low cost, based on limited evidence”.

These neuromyths may be ineffectual, but they are not low cost. We would submit that any activity that draws upon resources of time and money that could be better directed to evidence-based practices is costly and should be exposed and rejected. Such neuromyths create a false impression of individuals’ abilities, leading to expectations and excuses that are detrimental to learning in general, which is a cost in the long term.

One way forward is to draw attention to practices that are not evidence-based and to encourage neuroscientists and educationalists to promote the need for critical thinking when evaluating the claims for educational benefits supposedly based on neuroscience. As part of Brain Awareness Week that begins 13 March, we support neuroscientists going into schools to talk about their research but also to raise awareness of neuromyths.
Professor Bruce Hood
Chair of developmental psychology in society, University of Bristol, founder of Speakezee
Professor Paul Howard-Jones
Chair of neuroscience and education, University of Bristol
Professor Diana Laurillard
Professor of learning with digital technology, UCL Knowledge Lab, University College London
Professor Dorothy Bishop
Professor of developmental neuropsychology, University of Oxford
Professor Frank Coffield
Emeritus professor of education, University College Institute of Education, University of London
Professor Dame Uta Frith
Emeritus Professor, Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London
Professor Steven Pinker
Johnstone family professor of psychology, Harvard University
Sir Colin Blakemore
Professor of neuroscience and philosophy, director of the Centre for the Study of the Senses, University College London
Professor Hal Pashler
Distinguished professor of psychology, UC San Diego
Dr Peter Etchells
Senior lecturer in biological psychology, Bath Spa University
Dr Nathalia Gjersoe
Senior lecturer in developmental psychology, University of Bath
Professor Gaia Scerif
Professor of developmental cognitive neuroscience, University of Oxford
Dr Sara Baker
Lecturer in psychology and education, University of Cambridge
Dr Matthew Wall
Division of brain sciences, Imperial College London
Dr Jon Simons
Reader in cognitive neuroscience, University of Cambridge
Dr Michelle Ellefson
Senior lecturer in psychology and education, University of Cambridge
Dr Ashok Jansari
Lecturer in cognitive neuropsychology, Goldsmiths, University of London
Dr Molly Crockett
Associate professor of experimental psychology, University of Oxford
Professor Kate Nation
Professor of experimental psychology, University of Oxford
Professor Michael Thomas
Director, University of London Centre for Educational Neuroscience, professor of cognitive neuroscience, Birkbeck, University of London
Dr Nikhil Sharma
Honorary consultant neurologist and senior clinical researcher (MRC),
the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery
Dr David Whitebread
PEDAL research centre, University of Cambridge
Professor Mark Sabbagh
Professor of psychology and neuroscience, Queen’s University, Canada
Dr Cristine Legare
Associate professor of psychology, University of Texas at Austin
Dr Joseph T Devlin
Head of experimental psychology, University College London
Professor Peter Gordon
Program director, neuroscience and education, Teachers College, Columbia University
Professor David Poeppel
Director, department of neuroscience, Max-Planck-Institute, Frankfurt
Professor Brian Butterworth
Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Centre for Educational Neuroscience,
University College London
Professor Anil Seth
Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, School of Engineering and Informatics, University of Sussex
Dr Tom Foulsham
Reader in psychology, University of Essex




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