VAK or VAK-uous? Towards the trivialisation of learning and the death of scholarship

Sharp, J.G., Bowker, R. and Byrne, J. (2008) VAK or VAK-uous? Towards the trivialisation of learning and the death of scholarship. Research Papers in Education, 23, (3), 293-314. (doi:10.1080/02671520701755416).


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Developments within education, psychology and the neurosciences have shed a great deal of light on how we learn while, at the same time, confirming for us all that learning is a profoundly complex process and far from understood. Against this background, and in this position article, we consider the recent rise in interest in the concept of learning styles as VAK (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic) in primary schools in England and Wales and begin to identify and interrogate some of the more unorthodox claims frequently used to legitimise and lend support to its validity. Through the casual acceptance and promotion of VAK, and its often wider association with the notions of accelerated and brain-based learning, it is our assertion that the complexity of learning is becoming increasingly trivialised and scholarship at all levels within certain sectors of the education community compromised

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/02671520701755416
ISSNs: 0267-1522 (print)
1470-1146 (electronic)
Keywords: vak, learning styles, accelerated learning, brain-based learning
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Education > Mathematics and Science Education
ePrint ID: 58928
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
September 2008Published
8 August 2008Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:40

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