Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Cognitive Styles and Teaching and Learning: ~ Ignoring Gravity?

Paul Denley, Sue Martin.

While there is a growing literature and research base to support the influence of cognitive styles and learning strategies on learners’ performance and, consequently, on how teaching styles can influence performance/ learning, less attention has been given to the extent to which teachers’ own styles influence their teaching approach. Typically, teachers, when adopting a stance that is not based on reflection and an informed understanding of how learners learn in respect of cognitive styles, will do so on the principle that learners learn best as they themselves learn. This paper explores the pivotal role of the teacher’s awareness of the influence of cognitive style on learning performance, both from the perspective of the cognitive style of the learner and their own style. The paper focuses on four questions:

1. to what extent are teachers aware of the importance (influence) of learners’ cognitive styles (and learning preferences) on their students’ learning?
2. to what extent are they aware of their own learning styles and preferences?
3. how do teachers who are aware of this address it in their teaching?
4. to what extent do teachers consider the influence of their own cognitive style on their teaching?


Paul Denley  (United Kingdom)
Lecturer in Education
Department of Education
University of Bath

Sue Martin  (United Kingdom)

  • Learning styles
  • Learning preferences
  • Cognitive styles
  • Teaching styles

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)