Rose Colored Glasses

Random Thoughts on Instructional Design

Learning Styles and Theories: Real or contrived?

I think a “Take Away” from learning styles and learning theory debate that has played out in journals and across the internet, is that we are designed as human beings to learn using all of our senses, and individuals use their senses to grasp content in unique ways. While we have attempted to apply the assembly line lessons of the industrial revolution to education, a mechanized, one-size-fits-all model focuses too narrowly on efficiency of instruction at the expense of learning objectives and outcomes. Instruction that separates the content from the context and treats students as studying machines rather than whole individuals is bound to leave learners wanting a more rounded experience. The result is a decrease in engagement and abstract thought– the very capacities that are most needed for America to stay competitive in the 21st century. I am sure we could continue with the model of education focused on textbooks and standardized tests that ignores the context and involvement that makes learning exciting, but we would be missing a huge opportunity to educate and inspire the next generation.

Along with the parody, It’s reasonable to say that if we make teaching better, everybody benefits. I cant’ imagine there are learners who want only text, or others that want only animation/pictures.


I’m sure many of you have seen Ken Robinson’s wonderful TEDTalk on Education Paradigms.


What is less seen is RSA’s adaption of a similar lecture. I think ted talk was great, but love the added visualization.




The video is helped by professional camera work and audio- something I doubt many educators have in surplus. Then again the animation was probably even more complex, but providing both formats allows the viewer (learner) t0 engage with the content in multiple ways…. Thoughts?

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This entry was posted on October 20, 2011 by in Instructional Design.

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