eISSN: 1896-9151
ISSN: 1734-1922
Archives of Medical Science
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2/2007
vol. 3
 
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abstract:

Invited Commentary
The importance of learning styles in academic and applied settings to:Comparison of learning strategies in successful and unsuccessful students

Alida Westman

Arch Med Sci 2007; 3, 2: 170-172
Online publish date: 2007/06/29
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In this review of ”Comparison of learning strategies in successful and unsuccessful students” I provide context to the research. I hope that this will lead to more studies on learning strategies which are useful in schools and in different applied settings, for example, patients who need to learn about an illness and multiple treatment options, or individuals in the U.S.A. who need to chose from among many different drug coverage plans. When it is clear how different areas are learned best, this can be pointed out with the materials to be learned.
I will comment first on the content and then on the presentation. The results in ”Comparison of learning strategies…” are very clear about what works best for third year female high school students in Tehran, and the results make sense considering what needs to be learned in these specific areas at this stage of education. Thus the results probably are applicable across the world and with both genders. Successful students were more likely than unsuccessful students to engage in Monitoring of their Comprehension, and this was true in each of the areas studied, namely Mathematics (which included physics), Experimental Sciences (which included biology and chemistry) and Humanities (which included sociology and history). Successful students were not more likely to use Rehearsal in any of these areas. Beyond this, in Mathematics and the Humanities, successful students were more likely than unsuccessful student to look for applications and restate material in their own words (Elaboration), whereas in biology and chemistry, successful students were more likely to Organize the material to be learned.
The level at which learning styles were examined, that is, as study skills, is a good one. Exploring skills used in school at an even more basic level of sense modality preference on the part of students without sensory problems did not predict learning [1]. Similarly, analysis at the level of the personality frequently leads to nonsignificant results [2, 3]. However, personality, like culture, influences the level of interest in different areas and the motivation to apply the study skills (”Comparison of learning strategies…” [4, 5]), as well as perhaps the perceived appropriateness of the area of study by particular students.
There may be other variables which influence which study skills work best. The students in this study, ”Comparison of learning...


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