One hears it all the time: “Oh, I’m a visual learner.” Education theorists have promulgated this idea, and students have embraced it because, generally speaking, students like built-in excuses. Leaving aside the fact that reading is a visual learning style (at least it starts with the eyes) that these theorists always exempt from these discussions (from what I can tell “visual learning” means watching videos and the affront to humanity that is PowerPoint).

But I’ve always had the sneaking suspicion that this argument is nonsense, that delineating the different styles of learning into separate categories is both a fool’s errand and obfuscutory. Thankfully, I now have a pretty heavy hitter to back me up. University of Virginia (Wahoos!) cognitive psychologist Daniel Willingham has done a pretty good job of debunking “the learning styles myth” in, among other places, his new book, Why Don’t Students Like School?

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