The Myth of ‘Learning Styles’ Article by Khazan

Streamlining the learning process has been something that top teachers have been working on for years. Not surprisingly, every person is unique and needs a different approach. Unfortunately, it is impossible to teach everyone in their unique way, matching the personal needs of every pupil in today’s reality. Despite this, there are attempts to combine the best into a unique way of teaching, which are successful, according to Olga Khazan (Khazan, 2018).

In her article entitled The Myth of ‘Learning Styles,’ she says that everyone perceives information better using different methods of perception. The methodology by which this or learning preference is measured is called VARK. It stands for “visual, aural, read/write, and kinesthetic.” The article begins by saying that everyone has a preferred way of learning. The results of the tests can be used to determine which type of person a pupil is. Neil Fleming is considered the originator of this theory and is confident that his approach works according to his research. However, Paulie Husmann, a professor at Indiana University, was able to refute this hypothesis with scientific experiments and came up with some interesting conclusions. After testing the VARK methodology and having each student take a class in a different perceptual style, she concluded that all students were better at perceiving data visualization, regardless of perceptual type. All these types were considered no more than a habit of the students and did not speak reliably about how best to learn the material. This was the conclusion of an experiment that the creator of the hypothesis was asked to comment on (Khazan, 2018). Fleming replied that many people took this theory seriously, whereas it only suggested the best kind of learning for the student.

Can Fleming’s theory be considered correct? Or maybe Husmann was right, and the type of perception is not unique to everyone? Indeed, there are attempts by teachers who subscribe to this theory to impose their opinions on students and who indulge in a curriculum in favor of a disproved theory (Khazan, 2018). It is hard to know who is more right in this situation, as both thoughts are true. It is more important to pay attention to the overall performance of the students rather than the way they are most used to working with, meaning that it is so unequivocal, for it is not about the educational institutions using different types of perception, not just visual perception, despite its success. The whole point is to be able to combine different kinds of communication, rather than concentrating on just one, the most convenient one. This dulls one’s other receptors and prevents one from getting the most out of learning.

Although trying to make the learning process unique to everyone is a priority, it is safe to say that at this point in time it is not possible due to low efficiency and too crude an approach to the problem. The whole thesis seams unfinished and needs some time to get better understanding of all the teaching techniques. It is not logical to tailor learning to someone in particular and does not allow the material to be taught in the way that it is intended. It should be understood that the training program should be the same for everyone despite everyone’s habits. These methods should be used in preparation for seminars rather than for teaching. Therefore, the key to good learning is a sound approach and a combination of listening techniques that enable all the learning potential to be maximized.


Khazan, O. (2018). Are “Learning Styles” Real? The Atlantic; The Atlantic. Web.

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ChalkyPapers. "The Myth of ‘Learning Styles’ Article by Khazan." March 18, 2023.