Anglia Ruskin University
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Primary school pupils' responses to lessons that combine different teaching styles (Visual, Auditory, Reading/writing and Kinaesthetic) according to their own personal learning styles

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posted on 2023-08-30, 14:42 authored by Behira Avni
The study aimed to examine whether lessons that combine different teaching styles (Visual, Auditory, Reading/writing and Kinaesthetic- VARK) assist or hinder the learning of primary school pupils with different personal learning styles according to the pupils' responses.These lessons were given to three classesin primary school G in Israel (two in Year 5 and one in Year 6), a total of 75 pupils, for an entire school year. Before the experimental lessons were implemented the pupils inthe research population completed the VARK questionnaire (in the form of a Hebrew questionnaire) to assess their learning styles. Mixed qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect data concerning the pupils' responses to these lessons with three research tools: questionnaires, observations and interviews. In the theoretical discourse on learning styles there is a controversy debating whether it is necessary to adapt teaching styles to the learning styles of pupils (Wehrwein, 2007; Carrier, 2009; Fountain & Alfred, 2009; Howles & Jeong, 2009; Naimie, et. al., 2010) or to teach with teaching styles that are different from pupils' learning styles in order to broaden the pupils' abilities (McCarthy, 1990; Tanner & Allen, 2004; Boella, 2010). The present research demonstrates that as long as the lesson integrates several different learning styles (VARK), each of them for a short duration during the lesson, pupils (even pupils who have special needs and new immigrant pupils) gain a lot in the lesson. The Visual element of the lesson was found to be especially meanningful in holding the pupils' attention and improving their understanding and motivation to learn, irrespective of their personal learning styles. Research results showed that the combination of learning styles provided a variety that the pupils enjoyed and helped them to feel a sense of capability to learn. It was also clear that the elements of the lesson that did not correspond with their personal learning style did not hinder them, but often actually assisted them, increasing motivation and improving achievements. This was especially so for the weakerpupils. In one particular case of a child with special needs there was evidence of dramatic improvements in academic achievements. The Kinaesthetic element, the teacher's Auditory explanations and the Reading element caused marginal problems for pupilswho lacked these elements in their learning style. There were no significant differences between pupils with a single-element learning style and those with multiple-element learning styles. The Visual element was found to be most significant for most pupils and facilitated attention, recall and a sense of self ability. Irrespective of their learning style all the pupils felt that they were assisted by all the elements of the lesson and although the teacher's oral explanations were seen as a slight hindrance, the pupils reported that these explanations supported their sense of capability and this was especially so for pupils diagnosed with a Kinaesthetic learning style. It was also found that most of the pupils did not enjoy the Kinaesthetic work although they completed it successfully.



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