Learning style instruments LO2137

Mon, 17 Jul 1995 09:41:23 -0600 (CST)

Replying to LO2097 --

Since I am doing my doctoral research on the validity of a
tempearment-based learning style indicator, I have done an extensive
amount of literature review on the subject of type and temperament
and learning styles.
As you begin the process of delving into the literature, you will
notice authors using the terms cognitive style and learning style
synonymously - I do not. You will also notice the synonymous use of
type and temperament which I assume Larry they have told you are NOT
the same.
The Kolb Learning Style Inventory (LSI) you mentioned is based on
Kurt Lewin's Experiential Learning Theory and Carl Jung's
dialectic tension. David Kolb developed the theoretical
underpinnings for the LSI in the early 70's. The model's focus is on
how individuals perceive and process information. The LSI contains
only cognitive traits and is usually classified as a learning style
because it grows out of a learning theory. In addition to the works
of Lewin, the roots of the LSI can be traced to influences from John
Dewey and Jean Piaget. The four learning styles indicated by the
instrument are Converger, Diverger, Assimilator, and Accomodator.
Internal consistency of the instrument as a whole is relatively low
with average coefficients of .79 and .83 on split-half coefficients.
Alpha coefficients ranged from .29 to .71 but overall demonstrated
only moderate reliability. Test-retest reliabilities suggest that an
individual's ranking is not particularly stable over time.
The Gregorc Style Delineator is an expansion of the work of Carl
Jung. It is designed to identify differences in learning. It
represents a blend of theories of the psychological sciences of
behavioral, psychoanalytic, humanistic, and transpersonal. The GSD
sorts people into four distinctive clusters which are used to
represent the manner in which people comprehend and organize their
perceptions of themselves and the world around them: Concrete
Sequential, Abstract Random, Abstract Sequential, Concrete Random.
The GSD focuses on two mediation abilties of the mind--perception and
ordering. These abilities are theoretically bipolar and
intertwining. Sewall (1986) concludes that validity and reliability
information provided is so limited and methodologically flawed that
no firm conclusions can be drawn from any of the information
Herman Witkin's Field Independence-Dependence is the most widely
known cognitive style indicator. In this theory, dependent learners
rely more on the teacher and peer support. Independent students tend
to be more analytical and attend less to peer pressure or teacher
direction. The Embedded Figures Test (EFT) and group version (GEFT)
report a reasonably high validity . Critics have asserted that
the instruments measure either general intelligence or some
specific ability. Other problems include gender bias and
Rita and Kenneth Dunn and their associate Gary Price advocate the
placement of students in special programs based on their preferred
learning styles as opposed to the more typical measures such as IQ.
Their Learning Style Indicator (another LSI) for children was
developed in 1978. The adult version, Productivity Environmental
Preference Survey (PEPS) was developed a year later. There are
numerous problems associated with the instruments.
The Canfield Learning Style Inventory (CLSI) draws on the works of
Joseph Hill and focuses on the attitudinal and affective dimensions
rather than cognitive ones. The CLSI reportedly assesses learning
preferences defined by a model for describing learning styles
A. A. Canfield and Judith Canfield also developed the
Instructional Styles Inventory (ISI) which closely parallels the
CLSI. There is no justification in the literature for any of the
CLSI groupings. Some of the CLSI scales have high reliability
while others have fairly low reliability. No test-retest reliability
is reported. Split-half coeficient data is very high (.90). In
short the reliability data for the CLSI is extremely limited.
Anthony Grasha and Sheryl Reichmann developed the Grasha
Reichmann Learning Style Scales (GRSLSS) in 1974 to determine college
student's styles of classroom participation. There are six styles;
Avoidant, Participant, Independent, Dependent, Collaborative, and
Competitive. The Grasha model focuses on student attitudes toward
learning, classroom activities, teachers, and peers rather than
studying the relationship among methods, student style, and
achievement. There are two forms of the instrument, both of which
have limited application.
Joseph Hill developed a scheme for evaluating styles of student
and for organizaing schools on the basis of those styles. His
Cognitive Style Inventory (CSI) is referred to as cognitive mapping.
Literature describing the validity and reliability of the instrument
are limited since Hill died before completing the work.
The instrument I am investigating is called the PACE Temperament
Sorter Preference Indicator is based on the work of Carbo, Golay,
Gregorc, Hill, Johnson, Keirsey, Kolb, Kroeger, Lawrence, and Myers
(a few more names for your reading list). It has extremely high face
validity, but I have not collected sufficient data to indicate
statistical reliability. The two-part instrument is designed to
identify learning style preference and provide examples of how to
work effectively with each preference. To my knowledge, it is the
only instrument of it's kind.

For additional information on type, temperament, learning styles,
and cognitive styles, I suggest that you contact the Center for
Applied Psychological Type for their catalog (904) 375-0160.
I hope this has been of some help.


"Pete Heineman" <PETE@CCS.UNOMAHA.EDU>

,___O _-\_<;_ __(*)/' (*)_______________________________________________ | | | Peter L. Heineman, Manager of Contract Training | | University of Nebraska at Omaha | | College of Continuing Studies | | 1313 Farnam Street | | Omaha, NE 68182-0335 | | (402) 595-2340 FAX (402) 595-2345 | | Internet: pheineman@unomaha.edu | |_________________________________________________________| What the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind of man can achieve. Napoleon Hill