Different Learning Styles Part II

Article excerpt

This is the continuation of the three-part series on the different learning style models. As we said earlier, learning styles is the way in which each learner begins to concentrate on, process, absorb, and retain new and difficult information.


The Child Rating Forum was developed by Manuel Ramirez and Alfredo Castaneda in 1974. In this model, Ramirez and Castaneda posit that learning styles are individual rather than stereotypical group styles. Learning style is defined in terms of the cognitive style dimension of field dependence / independence and cultural differences, surmising that the style predispositions of a child are biocognitive and bicultural.

Field independence is positive because schools prize the traits that correspond. Students who are field sensitive are group oriented, sensitive to the social environment, and positively responsive to adult modeling. They are less sensitive to the spatial incursions of others, less comfortable with trial and error, and less interested in the fine details of tasks that are non-social.

The global traits are the opposite of detail oriented, independent, and sequential (characteristic of analytics).

The Child Rating Form is a direct observation format yielding frequency of behavior scales that could be completed by the teacher or older person in a self-report survey. The traits associated with field sensitivity are also associated with global dimensions and specific sociological elements of authority and peer orientation, as described by Dunn & Dunn.


The Edmonds Learning Style Identification Exercise (ELSIE) was developed by Harry Reinert in 1976. According to the model, learning style are reactions to auditory stimulus. ELSIE is geared primarily to identification of the perceptual categories in the Dunn & Dunn, Hill, and other instruments.

Students should have their initial contact with new material by means of their most efficient perception. The categories of the ELSIE are incorporated directly in the NASSP LSP.

The ELSIE is composed of 50 one-word items read aloud to students, who are then asked to characterize their reactions to the work according to a forced choice among four alternatives: (a) visualization or creation of a mental picture; (b) alphabetical letters in writing (the word spelled out); (c) sound; and (d) activity (an emotional or physical feeling about a word).


The Inventory of Learning Processes (ILP) model was developed by Ronald Schmeck in 1977. From psychology, Schmeck believes cognitive and personality studies, while useful, are not definitive and that learning styles, as a construct, would be more useful.

Schmeck defined learning style as a predisposition on the part of some learners to adopt a particular learning strategy regardless of the specific demands of the learning task. …