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, sanderLooking for some thought-provoking articles about learning styles? I recently attended an interesting and informative program at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, CA on learning styles titled, “Learning Styles: Fiction, Nonfiction, or Mystery?” The program, sponsored by the ACRL Instruction Section (IS), brought together a diverse and talented group of speakers (Char Booth, Jean Runyon and Lori Mestre) to talk about the history, controversy, and key aspects of this important topic. Learning styles is something I learned a lot about almost two decades ago when I was an undergraduate student studying Elementary and Early Childhood Education, and the research and insights into this important, and controversial, topic has exploded in recent years. It’s important to explore and understand these new ideas and thoughts about learning styles so that you can tailor your teaching and instruction to best meet the needs of your students. One of the most valuable aspects of this program was an interesting and valuable handout that listed 5 articles related to learning styles that every librarian involved with instruction, and who cares about learning more about learning styles, should read:
(1) Dembo, Myron H. and Keith Howard. 2007. Advice about the Use of Learning Styles: A Major Myth in Education. Journal of College Reading and Learning 37: 101-109.
(2) Pashler, Harold, Mark McDaniel, Doug Rohrer, and Robert Bjork. 2008. Learning styles: Concepts and Evidence. Psychological Science in the Public Interest 9: 105-119.
(3) Mestre, Lori S. 2010. Matching Up Learning Styles with Learning Objects: What’s Effective? Journal of Library Administration 50: 808-829.
(4) Sanderson, Heather. 2011. Using Learning Styles in Information Literacy: Critical Considerations for Librarians. The Journal of Academic Librarianship 37: 376-385.
(5) Kratzig, Gregory, and Katherine Arbuthnott. Perceptual Learning Style and Learning Proficiency: A Test of the Hypothesis. Journal of Educational Psychology 98: 238-246.
These five articles provide a good explanation of, and foundation for, learning about learning styles, and also provide some current research and thought about the topic. I would encourage anyone interested in this topic to give them a look.
I also attended the ALA Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT) program on “Critical Thinking and Library Instruction: Fantasyland or Adventureland?” This program featured four short presentations that discussed the intersection of information literacy and critical thinking:
(1) “Cultivating Critical Thinking in K-12 Library Instruction: Results of the Implementation of Bloom's Taxonomy" by Kathy Rosa
(2) "Junk Science: Encouraging Critical Thinking in a Communication Research Methods Class" by Rosalind Tedford
(3) "Moving from Fantasy to Adventure by Grounding Information Literacy Instruction in Critical Thinking Models" by Robert Schroeder
(4) "Your Make-It-Work Moment: Creating Space for Critical Thinking in the Library Classroom" by Barbara Alvarez, Jennifer Bonnet, and Sigrid Anderson Cordell.
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