Breakthrough Education; the Dunn and Dunn Learning Style Model and Its Theoretical Framework

Article excerpt

Byline: Henry S. Tenedero

Few decades ago, very few academicians even took into account how conventional classroom might affect the achievement of students with different learning styles.

Today, volumes of studies have documented that learning style-responsive classrooms statistically increase students achievement test scores.

The Dunn and Dunn Model which was developed by Dr. Rita Dunn, the executive director of our International Learning Styles Network based at St. Johns University, is based on several theoretical assumptions, namely:

* Most individuals can learn.

* Different instructional environments, resources, and approaches respond to different learning style strengths.

* Everyone has strengths, but different people have different strengths.

* Individual instructional preferences exist and can be measured reliably.

* Given responsive environments, resources and approaches, students attain statistically higher achievement and attitude test scores in congruent, than in incongruent styles.

According to the Dunn and Dunn Model, learning style is divided into five major strands called stimuli.

* The Environmental strand incorporates individuals preferences for the elements of Sound, Light, Temperature, and Furniture or seating Design.

* The Emotional strand focuses on students level of Motivation, Persistence, Responsibility, and need for Structure.

* The Sociological strand addresses students preferences for Learning Alone, in Pairs, with Peers, as part of a Team, with either Authoritative or Collegial Instructors, or in Varies approaches as opposed to in patterns.

* The Physiological strand examines Perceptual Strengths (visual, auditory, tactual, or Kinesthetic), Timeofday energy levels, and the need for Intake and Mobility while learning.

* The Psychological strand incorporates the information-processing elements of global vs analytic and impulsive versus reflective behaviors.

Everyone has a learning style and everyone has learning style. It is of course easier to learn through strengths than to learn through weaknesses.

However, we should take note that when teachers teach an entire class in the same way, some students are being taught through their strengths at the same time others are being taught through their weaknesses.

People learn in different settings. Because most classrooms look like every other classroom, people assume that everyone can learn in that kind of setting. Some people do, but many more do not! …