The effect of inservice training on the ability of teachers to observe learning styles of students Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/bc386n837

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  • Research on the topic of learning styles has revealed the positive impact that implementation of a learning styles program can have on the education of America's youth. Yet for many districts in the state of Oregon, implementation is hindered by a lack of available funds and personnel trained to do so. A search of the literature raised the possibility of using inservice training to improve teacher observation skills as a means of implementing a learning styles program. Thus, the purpose of this study was to test whether inservice training could improve the ability of classroom teachers to observe the learning styles of students. Sixty-nine teachers in two school districts participating in the quasi-experimental design were asked to observe and identify the learning styles of students according to the Dunns' learning style model. These observations were compared with information on the Learning Style Inventory (Dunn, Dunn & Price, 1985) student profiles using the following data analysis procedures: analysis of covariance, analysis of variance for improvement, and percentage of agreement tests for each of the twenty-two elements in the model. Data analysis led to rejection of the null hypothesis at the .05 level of significance for only two elements, responsible and parent-figure motivated. The findings in this study support previous findings which led to the development of a standardized tool to identify learning styles. Teacher observation alone did not prove to be the best approach to identification of students' learning styles. Recommendations include replication of the present study at the elementary level, use of volunteer teachers in a study, addition of the technique of interviewing to the observation process, and the use of paired observations to improve teacher observation skills.
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