Student learning styles

The concept of learning style. Styles of learning and teaching styles in different cultures

The problem of individual approach was raised more than once and successfully solved in domestic and foreign pedagogical science and practice. However, the emergence of educational cross-culture this problem somewhat “aggravated”. As it has been repeatedly mentioned above, in the process of personal learning three components are involved: cognitive, emotional and operational, which can ultimately be characterized by a generalizing concept of “learning style”. Most foreign researchers involved in thinking about the specifics of learning styles are based on the concept of X. Foreign researchers involved in thinking about specific learning style are mostly based on the concepts of X. Gardner (Multiple Intelligence Theory), D. Grinder (Modalities of Perception: Audio, Visual and Kinestic), D. Kolb and other researchers.

One of the models of learning based on step-by-step formation of mental actions is the Kolba cycle . Its author is David A. Kolb, a specialist in adult learning psychology. In his opinion, the learning process is a cycle or a kind of spiral. It is a kind of cycle of accumulation of personal experience, later on – reflection and reflection, and finally – action.

The main four stages of the Kolb model are as follows.

  1. Direct, concrete experience – anyone should already have some experience in the field or area they want to learn.
  2. Observation and reflexion or thought observation (observation and reflection) – this stage implies that the person considers and analyzes his or her experience and knowledge.
  3. 3. Formation of abstract concepts and models or Jonning abstract concepts – at this stage, a model is constructed that describes the obtained information and experience. Ideas are generated, interconnections are built, and new information is added about how everything works and how it is organized.
    Active experimentation (testing in new situations) – the last stage involves experimenting and checking the applicability of the created model and concept. The result of this stage is an immediate new experience. Then the circle closes.

According to their classification, there are four types of learning styles: actor, observer, pragmatist and theorist. information is often a convenient tool to find out the way a person prefers to transform the information obtained into actions. They do not describe all elements of the learning style, but provide a realistic and visual picture of the individual student’s aptitudes.

Let’s consider what exactly the difference in learning styles between students of different cultural groups is in terms of a certain number of researchers. L. Zhan researched the cultural differences in cognitive styles in international study groups, observing students from Northern Europe, North America (USA and Canada), Southern Europe and Southeast Asia (China, Taiwan). The author analyzed the processes of perception and processing of information, educational strategies (based on Gardner’s theory of multiple intellect), reactions to information and solutions to problems and introduced the concept of cognitive learning style. Cognitive learning style, as defined by the researcher, includes the process of analysis and presentation of knowledge. It is clear that the concept of cognitive style will be closely intertwined with the concept of “learning style,” which is usually a consequence of its own “cognitive style.

Gardner notes that the abilities of adults from different cultures are different combinations of different types of intellects. Although all normal individuals, to varying degrees, are able to show all kinds of intellect, each individual is characterized by a unique combination of more or less developed intellectual abilities, which explains the individual differences between people. According to Galaktionova, the effectiveness of the didactic model based on the theory of multiple intellect depends on cultural and semiotic variability. We, in turn, can assume that logical and mathematical intellect will dominate as a component of Western rationalistic approach to information processing (individualistic types of cultures); personal and existential types of intellect will dominate in the context of working with information among representatives of collectivist cultures, etc. The main criterion for cognitive style, according to some researchers (R. Neisbit), is “pole-dependence” (contextual dependence) and “polenegativity” (contextual dependence). Europeans and Americans are for the most part pole-dependent (context-independent), while most Eastern cultures are pole-dependent (context-independent). In the process of learning, representatives of Asian countries (poly-dependent) are more sensitive to the needs and reactions of their comrades and show good results, especially when they receive positive reinforcement, praise from the teacher than their poly-dependent colleagues. Thus, the study found that students from Northern Europe use a combined learning style (visual, kinestic), prefer verbal and mathematical approaches, and prefer face-to-face teaching. Students from North America love presentations, role-playing, group discussions, which is very typical for American and Canadian education systems in general. American students prefer a visual approach with a lot of interactive material in the learning process, discussions that allow them to express themselves and their own views. Students in Southern Europe are notable for their love of real-life case studies. Asian students prefer a theoretical, systematic, logical step-by-step approach. The dominance of visual modality among Asian students is explained by belonging to an ideographic language group. Spanish students prefer the kinesthetic approach, highly structured material and like to cooperate in the process of solving educational problems. African-Americans are characterized by a kinesthetic learning style, with a large number of practical components. They like to work together with teachers, they are field dependent. Most African Americans use a predominantly analytical style, while Hispanics prefer a synergistic style. As representatives of a polyactive type of culture, they can do several things at once and get bored when it is necessary to do one thing for a long time. As for the study of learning styles of Asian students (Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Philip), it can be noted that all representatives of these cultural groups are motivated for group learning. However, 86% of Chinese students prefer an “organized” formal (routine) learning style as opposed to a flexible learning style with game-based learning.