So in our endless debates about ear learning vs. sheet learning, there seems to be some fundamental disagreement about whether people are really predisposed to different learning styles - visual vs. audible, mostly. And people tend to make broad statements about science backing up their position.
In the most recent "Memorizing" thread as an example, a statement from Calum says: "It might help you to know modern psychology has proved that "learning preferences" or "learning styles" do not really exist - we’re just better practised at some than others."
And another statement from Richard D Cook was: "Being that I was trained as, and worked as, a teacher and that we were required by law to equally address Aural, Visual, and Kinesthetic learning modalities, when Emily says that she is a visual learner I’m not going to tell her that her solution is to transform into a different sort of learner. It doesn’t work like that; there are plenty of studies that prove it."
Instead of debating the potential merits of one style of learning over another, I’m more interested in the science that is being referred to.
I tend to believe more what Calum stated, that if we’ve "learned to learn" one way or the other, that is what makes us feel like that’s the kind of learner that we are, and conversely that we could certainly learn other ways of learning, but it often doesn’t happen because it feels superfluous, or a waste of time, since we already have an easier (for us) way of learning. But I have no real science to back this up. My opinion is formed simply from a long time of observing people, but these observations weren’t performed in any kind of scientific manner with double blind studies, etc.
One of the good things about science is that it is part of the process to try to prove yourself wrong, and (at least in theory) science doesn’t have an ego that gets upset when new information is presented that contradicts long held beliefs. I have read a bit over the years, including Musicophilia and This is Your Brain On Music, but both of those reads were quite some time ago, and to be honest, I don’t remember that much about what either of those books had to say about this particular topic. More recently, I really enjoyed reading through The Immutable Laws of Brainjo, which is a blog written by a neurologist who happens to play (clawhammer) banjo. (https://clawhammerbanjo.net/the-immutable-laws-of-brainjo-the-art-and-science-of-effective-practice/)
So I’m curious if anyone has interesting links to scientific papers or articles that are discussing these different learning styles specifically, and whether people are really predisposed to one style or another… Is it nature or nurture?