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Title: An evaluation of the learning styles approach to education : a minimal intervention strategy
Author: Hankinson, Colin
ISNI:       0000 0001 3530 0669
Awarding Body: University of Manchester : University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 1998
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This research is in essence two separate pieces of work: (1) It is a traditional empirical piece of research evaluating the learning styles approach to education. (2) It considers the value of utilising the postmodern paradigm of chaos theory to argue for a synthesis incorporating learning (and by generalisation educational theory as a whole) with chaos theory, via neurological positivism. However, both (1) and (2) above overlap and interact on a theoretical philosophical plane. It should also be noted that the main research direction of this thesis is towards a traditional empirical study of the learning styles approach to education. The work on chaos theory is secondary to this and seeks to offer a theoretical philosophical rationale for the enrichment of educational theory as a whole, by linking traditional beliefs to postmodern concepts. The primary aim of this research was to evaluate the Learning Styles Approach to Education, and in particular the nature of the minimal intervention required to produce a significant positive result in relation to student educational performance. The secondary aim was a more global theoretical one i.e. to argue for a synthesis incorporating learning (and by generalisation educational theory as a whole), with chaos theory, via Vandervert's (1988, 1997) 'neurological positivism'. A diagram was developed by the author to illustrate this theoretical synthesis (section 2. 32). In the main study the experimental hypothesis was as follows: Student's knowledge of their own Learning Style Profile will have a positive effect upon their educational performance, even when the educational environment has not been adapted to cater for individual learning style requirements', The independent variable is the feedback on the participant's own Learning Style Profile score, and the dependent variable is the course scores obtained by the participants at pre-test and post-test. The participants consisted of an experimental group (n = 130) and a control group (n = 126) all students at Stockport College of Further & Higher Education. The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Learning Style Profile was administered to each member of the experimental , group and the results explained to each member individually. At no time was the educational environment adapted in any way to cater for the participant's individual learning style needs. All the participants pre-test and post-test course scores were collected and mean improvement scores calculated and compared. The results indicated a significant 'group' by 'mean improvement' score
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available