The impact of teaching in a particular cognitive style on student performance.

Carol Evans,   Institution: Kingston Grammar School,  UK

Abstract: The effect of teaching style, and the student's cognitive styles, on learning performance was investigated. 32 geography students aged 17 -18-years-old, in a secondary school all completed the CSA (Riding, 1991) The students were taught in two non-random groups. They were all taught glacial erosion and deposition topics in two 80 minute sessions by students identifed as having 'extreme learningstyles'. The first session was taught by students with a Wholist-Imager style and the second, by students with an Analytic-Verbaliser style. Both groups were also taught by one student with an Analytic-Imager style. The students were then tested on these topics using a test format exemplified in Riding and Douglas (1993:299). Comparison of total points scores based on performance at GCSE, performance on the three tests and cognitive style lead to the following conclusions. Using ANOVA no significant differences in performance were found between the 4 styles when taught in different styles, however, closer analysis of individual student performance revealed that some students did obtain markedly different results when taught in different ways. Research of this nature may enable teachers to enhance learning outcomes through the adaptation of their teaching style relative to individual needs and capabilities. Given the sample size, larger scale research used to verify the nature of the impacts of overall teacher style relative to the learning style of students is needed to assess the impact on the students learning, In this study teaching style did not lead to significant differences in performance across the different cognitive style groupings.

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