Academic journal article The Journal of Educational Research

Learning Styles and Their Relationship with Achievement of English Scores from Higher Secondary Schools and Colleges Students of District Lahore

Academic journal article The Journal of Educational Research

Learning Styles and Their Relationship with Achievement of English Scores from Higher Secondary Schools and Colleges Students of District Lahore

Article excerpt

Introduction

Learning is continuous and lifelong process. Teachers evaluate individual learning and then familiarize their technique to get better outcomes by using different learning styles. They increase students learning more effortlessly and effectively (Prabhakar & Swapna, 2008). It occurs when students understand their strengths and weaknesses (Pashler, McDaniel, Rohrer & Bjork, 2009). The use of learning style in educational institutions has been remaining the continuous discussion across a wide diversity. It had a comprehensive effect on how information administered and problems of students are resolved (Najafi et al., 2010 & Pashler et al., 2009). Many theorists point up that learning style are an investigation of any field that are characterized by substantial abstract and confusion (Slavina, 2006). As reported by (Joseph & GonzalezDeHass, 2011) that learning styles are the amalgamation of subjects, full of feeling and physiological components for students. Stewart & Felicetti (1992) clarify that learning styles are the instructive settings under which students are well on the way to take in the imaginary learning (Wallace & Oxford, 1992). They articulate cognitive characteristics, sentimental and psychological manners that designate the learning environments Kolb, 1984).

The researches show that proper usage of learning styles in class room environment affecting academic achievement (Griggs & Dunn, 1984; Hall & Mosely, 2005). The knowledge of educators about the students learning style is beyond the limits of doubt. Alfonseca et al. (2006) focuses that proper use learning styles enable the students to get better academic achievements score in their educational career. Cuthbert (2005) pointed out that awareness of the learning styles is vibrant for allowing adjustment in the educators' pedagogical approaches. Several other studies found that the existence of a certain relationship between unambiguous features of learning styles and distinguished learning outcomes in terms of academic success (Brown, 1978; Cassidy, 2004). So, it is clear that learning styles motivate the students in their academic achievement, which are gauges to academic success at the end (Felder & Spurlin, 2005; Leung & Ivy, 2003; 2008; Chan, 2001; Cuthbert, 2005).

Study conducted by (Uzuntiryaki, 2007) demonstrates that the practicability of learning styles is additionally seen as a variable towards achievement in the learning procedure with diligent work. At that point, this study seeks after to appreciate the learning styles as a reason towards understudies' academic achievement (Joseph & Gonzalez-DeHass, 2011). Numerous researches show that educational achievement is subjected by learning styles (Leung & Ivy, 2003; Brown, 1978). Mohammad and Izadi (2011) elucidates that "various courses used by individuals to handle and deal with information or to respond to biological supports suggest their learning styles". Loo (2004) portrays learning style as a sort of perspective, getting a handle on and taking care of information. Various studies have demonstrated that educational implementation of understudies is associated with students learning styles (Sriphai, Damrongpanit & Sakulku, 2011)

Academic achievement scores perform as a gauge to measure students learning in limited span of time (Agarwal, 1983). As stated by (Cartmell et al., 2007) that students' academic achievements can be improved while employing different learning styles as per students' demands. If learning styles are cord with the course, it has significantly positive effects on students' academic achievement scores. Those students who learnt through effectual styles of learning, they generally acquire outstanding academic achievement. They secure a good place in their work place or higher educational institutions (James & Gardner, 1995). Each student is unique and dissimilar in all aspects of life from others (Chan, 2001). He also learnt from diverse styles of learning (Smith & Renzulli, 1984).These diverse styles of learning are seen as factors that play important role on students' academic achievement (Wang & Jin 2008). Among these factors numerous have been researched, demographic status (Casanova, et al., 2005; Ray, 2010 & O' Sullivan, 2006), intelligence (Deary, Strand, Smith, & Fernandes, 2007) and self-concept (Reynold, 1988; Goodwin, 1995) have been discussed in many studies.

Learning styles are suggested from socialization as they can be modified according to the situation. As reported by Damrongpanit & Sakulku, 2011) that the learner's distinctive learning style and their academic achievements are strongly related with each other. In his studies Lorna (2013) proposed that the vastness of knowing one's learning styles is extremely critical for each understudy concerned. It might be inferred that, it is key that understudies' learning styles be distinguished and utilized as a pioneer or reference for educators to be more fragile towards their understudies' adapting needs (Felder & Spurlin, 2005).

Several studies illustrates that academic achievements are influenced by students learning styles (Leung & Ivy, 2003). It is the need of the modern era to be aware of different learning styles to increase students' performance in their academic achievements scores (Graf & Kinshu, 2007). Studies conducted by (Sriphai, Damrongpanit & Sakulku, 2011) concludes that in learning process, learning style's usefulness can be observed as a key factor towards students' success. It is not only the dilemma of learning but also difficulty in understanding subjects, styles of learning and learning process (Joseph & Gonzalez-DeHass, 2011).

Grasha & Riechmann's of Learning Style scale (GRLSS) is one of the diverse instruments that are amassed especially for understudies in educational institutions (Hruska-Riechmann & Grasha, 1982). GRLSS bases the appreciation of learning styles in a wide association in students achievement scores (Lorna, 2013). Researcher (Alfonseca et. al. 2006, & Sriphai et al., 2011) suggests that GRLSS focuses on following six constructs: competitive, collaborative, avoidant, participant, dependant and independent learning style. Moseley (2005) concluded that learning styles become part of a process of receiving groups and individuals to understand the outline they are following and to consider what they would like to be in future tasks. As reported by (Keefe & Ferrel, 1990) that using Grasha & Riechmann learning style on students, increase academic achievement (Grasha, 1996). Students with different learning styles had high achievement score rather than the students with no learning styles. In his study Bostrom et al., (1990) stated that use of GRLSS in the Pakistani institutions put a huge negative relationship between A+ grade achievers and that of independent and collaborative learning style. Furthermore, negative relationship exists between high achievers and independent learning style.

Charkins et al., (1985) uncovered that there exists a noteworthy distinction between learning styles preferences of male and females students. He further explained that by using avoidant, independent and participative learning style females gain more achievement scores than males. Alfonseca et al., (2006) illustrates that all learning styles have visible effects on students' whole academic achievements. The high achievers additionally offer support to gathering learning variable than low achievers. The high academic achievers have a strong inclination for gathering realizing.

In Pakistani educational institutions, English language is playing crucial role. Pakistani society warms welcome those educational institutions who make compulsory English as medium of instruction. Unluckily, teachers use old and traditional styles of learning for students. Researchers like (Qamar et al., (2011) claimed that basic root cause for achievement and letdown of students in educational institutions is teachers beliefs, improper usage of learning styles and administration. In their research (Akhtar, 201; Khurshid & Mahmood (2012) explain that both science and arts students are engaged with different learning styles. Most of the teachers may slump with learning quality as they have no more pedagogical skills. Deficiency of these skills leads towards elimination of learning styles (Farooq & Regnier, 2011). Keeping in view the importance of learning styles, the focus of the study was to explore the relationship between higher secondary schools and colleges students learning styles and academic achievement scores. This study also focused on difference between learning styles of higher achievers and low achievers in academic stream in the subject of English at intermediate. The following research questions were framed to achieve the objectives of the study.

Research Questions

Following research questions were framed

1. What is relationship between higher secondary schools and colleges students learning styles and academic achievement scores?

2. What is difference between low achievers and high achievers of higher secondary schools and colleges students' academic achievement scores?

3. What is difference between science and arts students of higher secondary schools and colleges students' academic achievement scores?

Research Methodology

This study was descriptive in nature and two stage sampling technique was used. At 1st stage 15 male and 18 female colleges and higher secondary schools of District Lahore were selected. At 2nd stage 174 male and 324 female students of science and arts students were selected conveniently. The survey instrument of was (Hruska- Grasha & Riechmann, 1982) learning style scale. This research instrument was subcategories in six different parts like Competitive, Collaborative, Avoidant, Participant, Dependent and Independent learning style response mode of Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Undecided, Agree, & Strongly Agree. Five Hundred and Thirty (530) copies of the questionnaire were distributed to the selected students. Five Hundred and six (506) copies were returned, remaining were discarded because of incomplete data with 95.47 % rate of return. Remaining copies were used for data analysis in SPSS.

Data Analysis and its Interpretation

The following section improvised the analysis of data. There were 48 likert type statements in questionnaire that were used to obtain data regarding students learning styles and their academic achievements. Data was analysed in SPSS using Pearson Correlation, Mean, Median, Standard Deviation and t-test were used to explore students learning styles.

Research Question 1

What is relationship between higher secondary schools and colleges students learning styles and academic achievement scores?

A closer look at the above Sr. No.1 shows the Pearson correlation to determine the relationship between different learning styles and academic achievement scores. There is a significant and strong positive correlation between competitive learning style and academic achievement scores (r=.760, n=506, p<.005).

The interpretation of the above Sr. No. 2 shows that there is significant and strong relationship between two variables. It is clear that change in one variable (collaborative learning style) is strongly correlates with the change in other variable that is (academic achievement). In the above table value of Pearson's R is .697. Hence we conclude that there is a strong relationship between collaborative learning style and academic achievement (r=.697, n=506, p<.017).

A closer look at the above Sr. No. 3 shows that there is a significant and strong positive correlation between avoidant learning style and academic achievement scores (r=.745, n=506, p<.015). Its mean that change in one variable (avoidant learning style) is strongly correlates with the change in other variable that is (academic achievement).

The interpretation of the above Sr. No. 4 shows that there is significant and strong relationship between two variables. In the above table value of Pearson's R is .654. Hence we conclude that there is a strong relationship between participant learning style and academic achievement (r=.654, n=506, p<.020).

A closer look at the above Sr. No. 5 shows the there is a significant and strong positive correlation between dependant learning style and academic achievement scores (r=.971, n=506, p<.002). Its mean that change in one variable (Dependant Learning Style) is strongly correlates with the change in other variable that is (academic achievement).

The interpretation of the above Sr. No. 6 shows the Pearson correlation to determine the relationship between learning style and academic achievement scores. There is a significant and strong positive correlation between Independent Learning Style and academic achievement scores (r=.754, n=506, p<.014). Its mean that change in one variable (Independent Learning Style) is strongly correlates with the change in other variable that is (academic achievement).

Research Question 2

What is difference between low achievers and high achievers of higher secondary schools and colleges students' academic achievement scores?

The analysis of the Sr. No. 1 above table reveals that there is a significance difference between competitive learning style and academic achievement score of college students, t (504) =1.263, p<.005. It is concludes that high achievers use more competitive learning style (M=27.1937, SD=4.44904) as compare to the low achievers (M=26.6552, SD=4.51671).

The interpretation of above Sr. No. 2 shows that there is no significance difference between the learning styles of high achievers and low achievers, t (504) = - .390, p>.405. It can be concluded that low achievers (M=25.4368, SD=4.29733) use about same collaborative learning style as have high achievers (M=25.5994, SD=4.54375).

A closer look at the above Sr. No. 3 reveals that there is significance difference between Avoidant learning Style and Academic Achievement score of college students, t (504)=.344, p<.001. It is concludes that low achievers use more avoidant learning style (M=22.1782, SD=3.5866) as compare to the high achievers (M=22.0542, SD=4.2946).

The above table of Sr. No. 4 reflects that value of t was not significant at p<0.05 for low achievers and high achievers of participant learning style. Hence, it concludes that low achievers (M=14.9253, SD=2.77273) use about same learning style like high achievers (M=15.0452, SD=2.90344).

The interpretation of the above Sr. No. 5 reveals that there is significance difference between dependent style and academic achievement score of college students, t (504) =3.394, p<.005. It is concludes that low achievers use more dependent learning style (M=34.1864, SD=4.63164) as compare to the high achievers (M=33.1446, SD=3.67101).

The interpretation of the above Sr. No.6 reveals that there is significance difference between independent style and academic achievement score of college students, t (504) =2.35, p<.003. It is concludes that high achievers use more independent learning style (M=35.3012, SD=12.47764) as compare to the low achievers (M=34.9310, SD=12.82005).

Research Question 3

What is the difference between science and arts students of higher secondary schools and colleges students' academic achievement scores?

The analysis of the above table reveals that there is a significance difference between competitive learning style with different groups of college students, t (504) =3.594, p<.005. It is concludes that science achievers use more competitive learning style (M=27.1111, SD=4.28201) as compare to the arts achievers (M=26.8714, SD=4.74394).

The interpretation of above table shows that there is no significance difference between the learning styles by Group (Science & Arts), t (504) = .581,p>.078. It can be concluded that science achievers (M=25.6431, SD=4.22835) have about same collaborative learning style as have arts achievers (M=25.4095, SD=4.75967).

A closer look at the above table reveals that there is significance difference between Avoidant learning Style by Group (Science & Arts) of college students, t (504)= 1.202, p<.001. It is concludes that science achievers use more avoidant learning style (M=22.2929, SD=3.70423) as compare to the arts achievers (M=21.8381, SD=4.51499).

The above table reflects that value of t (3.231) was not significant at p<0.05 for science achievers and arts achievers of participant learning style. Hence, it concludes that science achievers (M=15.0236, SD=2.67927) use about same learning style like arts achievers (M=14.9810, SD=3.09184).

A closer look at the above table reveals that there is significance difference between dependent style by Group (Science & Arts) of college students, t (504) =3.264, p<.005. It is concludes that arts achievers use more dependent learning style (M=34.1619, SD=5.82200) as compare to the science achievers (M=33.1211, SD=4.95591).

A closer look at the above table reveals that there is significance difference between independent style by Group (Science & Arts) of college students, t (504) =3.692, p<.005. It is concludes that science achievers use more independent learning style (M=35.0067, SD=12.84286) as compare to the arts achievers (M=35.4048, SD=12.20687).

Discussion

The present study unravelled the viability and significance of different learning styles among the students of different levels. Learning styles bring significant enhancement on academic achievements according to many educational psychologists (Felder & Spurlin, 1995). The study conducted by (Dunn, Denig & Lovelace, 2001) revealed that successful learner be trained in variety of ways. When the students are naturally taught with more than one learning styles, the considerable improvement is observed. It is necessary for the teacher to identify the apt teaching method. Teachers are able to ensure optimal learning environment for the majority of students in a class (Felder & Brent, 2005).

It reveals clear indication that the overall achievement of the students is highly influenced by the learning styles they possess. A large number of students chose to prefer competitive learning styles. The students successfully develop a structure to 'see' and 'sense' the overall scenario and finally able to apply this learning skill to other academic domains. The findings of (Lin & Hyde, 1989) are similar to these ones. The results corroborated that high achievement students acquire larger global status that those who are moderate or low achievers. The high flyers, through global learning style can successfully undertake enormous workloads as well as able to engage themselves on multiple tasks. Contrary to low achievers, the high achievers prefer group learning variable. The high achievers possess a considerable predilection towards group learning variable than those who are said to be low achievers. As stated by (Curry, 1983; Mohammad & Izadi, 2011) that group learning is strongly preferred with these high achievers, contributes significantly for effective peer interaction and opportunities for the application of acquired learning for more comprehension, retention ability and performance in competition. The findings of (Leung & Ivy, 2003; Lovelace, 2005 concludes that collaborative learning style and Avoidant learning style with academic achievement scores of male and female students are significantly effects on those student that use these two learning styles. The findings of our study interlink with previous research.

Through the use of these learning styles in many of subjects like in English, the performance of the students considerably increased who retain moderate standards and those who mere pass (Dunn, Beaudry & Klavas 1989). Cutting across new challenges may invoke frustration among the students but they seldom express these thoughts. Many researches shows that competitive learning style and academic achievement are significantly correlate with each other (Armbruster, Patel, Johnson, & Weiss 2009). The findings of our study are linked with previous one. Accordingly, the need to learning styles by the teachers becomes more dire need of the hour for the inculcation of positive learning styles among the students such as sense of competition and collaborative working. These findings are similar to the work of (Moradkhan & Mirtaheri, 2011). The study of (Slavina, 2006) shows that excelling students increased their performance if learning styles processed harmonious to each other. The students are innately dependent. They may get frustrated in new challenging situation but do not express in class. As reported by (Was et al., 2009) that students from many education institutions use participant learning style and dependant learning style in the class room. It increases their inner abilities of thinking, reasoning. Many studies conducted by (Brown, 1978; Slavina, 2006) focused that these learning styles have positive effects and increase students participation in the class room. The take part in discussion and science students make their learning more strong as compare to the arts learners.

A research study on engineers and science students in Aalborg University revealed that the students were more agile, more visual and respondent in teaching and learning sessions. It is the responsibility of the teachers to enhance their motivation by upgrading their teaching skills. Democratic learning such as pupil centred techniques with free style participation and cooperation positively enhance students' performance and reinforcing their attitude for learning introductory English (Armbruster, et al., 2009). Accordingly, the teachers must employ such learning styles that are compatible to those of students for the improvement students' achievements. With reference to the findings of this study, there is no difference in gender in preferring to be dependent on learning styles. In the context of competition, the mean for male was lower than the females. Contrary to male students who preferred avoidance, females prefer free style. Accordingly, there is no significant relationship of gender with students' learning styles. A research study showed high score of females on motivation in preferring active learning styles than males. Female students allocated more time than males on preparation of class presentation and assignments completion (Bostrom, et al., 1990). This revealed that as compared to males who prefer avoidance, female students are more prone to the type of free learning style. Chan (2001) concludes that while ensuring science and arts independent learning style and academic achievement are the essential outputs in many conditions. In previous studies it has been focused that initial learners have been provided much influential option in the school environment to make learning positive and strong (Wang & Jin, 2008). These two learning styles are more supported for science students for better achievements. It also seems that mostly male students give their preference towards learning while using Active Experimentation. These learners have the abilities to make their learning strong via testing and measurement and its implementation in their educational career. This result is similar to the results of other researches, like Mohammad & Izadi (2011), Moradkhan & Mirtaher (2011) & Najafi et al., 2010) which show relationship between learning styles and educational advancement. In their research (Najafi et al., 2010) showed that in investigating the relationship between learning styles by Meyers-Brigs and educational advancement, there is relationship between sensational-intuitive aspect and educational advancement. This was the only relationship from all four aspects of personality by (Charkins, and O"Toole, 1985, Crtmell, 2007). As there is mostly perception that all human have universal needs and same communicable factors in educational involvement might not be valuable in changing towards learner approaches. When they are studying and have to provide services in perception of the students towards positive direction (Felder & Henriques, 1995).

Conclusion

Different style learners acquire the capability for more achievement than those who bring about fixed learning styles. It is inferred that the overall academic achievement is strongly affected by the learning styles. To impart effective learning, teachers must be aware of the practical worth of learning styles. The scope of learning styles framework is not restricted to mere the change in the subject but also plays vital role across all subjects. Accordingly, the results provide many future researches to proliferate this phenomenon. As a matter of result, variable of other learning styles must also be used in the researches. Usually, learning is acquired through variety of ways by a successful learner. On the whole, the students' learning has a wide range due to their certain degree of aptitudes, preferences and predilections. In the context of learning styles, students preferred six learning styles out of nine. Consequently, it can be inferred that most of the students retain multiple learning styles or a variety of learning. It is because they are able to learn in effective way. It is concluded from the research that GRLLS instrument can be used as a motivating tool for students in different educational institutions to make teaching and learning effective. In many researches like Armbruster et al., (2009) give focus that instructors and teachers can become flexible and dynamic while using many of the learning styles. These can be approach in educational institutions that suits the learners.

[Reference]

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[Author Affiliation]

Mehboob-Ul-Hassan*

Rafaqat Ali Akbar**

* PhD Scholar, Institute of Education and Research, University of the Punjab Lahore, Pakistan. E-mail: hassanbhattig@hotmail.com (Corresponding Author)

** Professor, Institute of Education and Research, University of the Punjab, Pakistan. E-mail: rafaqat.ier@pu.edu.pk

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