Learning styles

There is some dispute about the validity of learning styles: Coffield et al[1] found no evidence to support the validity of models.

Critics of learning styles see student approaches to learning as situational rather than inherent, but it is still a good idea to introduce a variety of approaches. Learning styles guides can be helpful to follow, if only to generate some good ideas for varying your approach to lesson planning.

One of the pre-eminent learning style models was developed by Honey and Mumford.[2] The model outlines the preferred learning styles of ‘Activists’, ‘Theorists’, ‘Pragmatists’ and ‘Reflectors’ and can be seen at the web pages of Leicester University Graduate Centre.

Another model frequently cited is VAK – Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic. More information about this learning style model can be found at this Tips for Educators on Accommodating Different Learning Styles page from UMass Dartmouth.


The next section collects together all the references on the foundations of learning.


References for this page

[1] Coffield, F. et al. 2004. Learning styles and pedagogy in post-16 learning. A systematic and critical review. London: Learning and Skills Research Centre.

[2] Honey, P. & Mumford, A. 1982. Manual of Learning Styles. London: P Honey.