Help for Struggling Learners: Styles versus Strategies

diagnosing dyslexia (10)Children are often asked to complete various tests in schools that will help determine their “learning style”.  These tests categorize children as “visual” learners or  “kinesthetic” learners, for example.4ae88d815992e62857567993856ddd29_visual-learning-styles-clipart-visual-learning-clipart_283-348   The implication is that children should be taught in their preferred sensory format (seeing, hearing, touching, etc.).  However, recent research has found no concrete evidence that learning styles exist. The notion that children can be identified has having one learning style or another is a neuro-myth. It sounds like science, but there is no science to back it up!


Imagine this: Your child takes a test and they are told: “Sally, you’re visual learner”. Sally then tries to study with pictures and videos but finds that she still struggles to learn. She may begin to wonder if she is just “not smart” enough.


8370889743_1cf76d4b3b_zLearning style is a popular buzz-word that is often confused with learning strategies.  But these are very different concepts!  A learning style implies a passive learner who is powerless to change their “style” but presumably benefits from information provided in a specific format.  In contrast, a learning strategy, such as the use of elaboration techniques and/or retrieval practice, implies an active learner.


Lexercise has a number of different curricula used to help struggling readers, spellers and writers.  For example, the Lexercise Structured Literacy Curriculum© is used with students who struggle mainly with spelling and reading unfamiliar words.  The Mind’s Eye Curriculum© is used with students who may be good readers and spellers but who struggle with understanding and remembering what they hear or read. The Lexercise Chancery Script Curriculum© is for students who have trouble writing efficiently and legibly.  All these curricula make use of proven elaboration techniques, practice and retrieval principles.
Click here to learn more about Lexercise and  how it can benefit your child!


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