The Problems of Applying Labels of Learning Style to National Cultures

By Kevin Nield.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In recent years it has become prevalent to attach learning style labels to groups. It is the contention of this paper that this practice may lead learning style labels being attached to groups that are either incorrect or unrepresentative of that group. Or if they have been correctly applied they may lead to preferred methods of teaching and learning being overlooked as they are considered to be preferred by a different learning style.

This paper considers the learning styles model of Honey and Mumford in relation to applying it to national cultures. The paper uses research that examines the learning preferences of a group of Chinese students and compares them with learning preferences that are ascribed to different learning styles using the analysis of Honey and Mumford.

The paper concludes that applying learning style labels to national groups may be lead to misdescription of the group. It may lead to preferred learning and teaching activities being overlooked while learning and teaching activities that are disliked are used.

Keywords: Learning Styles, National Cultures, Learning and Teaching

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 7, pp.425-434. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.293MB).

Dr. Kevin Nield

Faculty Learning, Teaching and Assessment Co-ordinator, Faculty of Organisation and Management, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK

Dr. Kevin Nield is Head of Department of Service Sector Management in Sheffield Business School. Before taking up his present position at SHU Kevin has worked in a wide variety of positions within the catering and retail industries and in further education. He has co-researched three editions of the British Hospitality Association’s annual British Hospitality: Trends and Statistics and is joint author of Contemporary Issues in Hospitality and Tourism in China and India. Kevin is a steering group member of the HE Academy network for Hospitality, Leisure, Tourism, Sport and Food and has represented the sector on QAA working groups and panels. Kevin has been responsible for setting up a highly successful collaboration with Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education.


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