Towards inclusive teacher education: Sensitising individuals to how they learn

Carol Evans*, M. Waring

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Higher education has struggled to acknowledge and translate into better teaching and learning practices that sizeable literature base suggesting a link between cognitive style, learning preferences, and performance. Research is reported in which 80 undergraduate students on a primary education degree were studied to examine the relationship between their cognitive style, their learning preferences, and perceived impact on their teaching practices. All students completed the CSA measure of cognitive style, the ASSIST, two further questionnaires exploring learning preferences and perception of good teaching during the course, and an evaluation at the end of the teaching unit. Significant differences were found between the three cognitive styles investigated: wholist, intermediate, and analytic. In terms of learning preferences, using ANOVA statistically significant differences were found between the three styles with wholists being most concerned about speed of delivery and least liking computerassisted learning. In addition, wholists preferred less structure than analytics in their teaching and claimed to use more images while analytics claimed to use more speech in their teaching. Intermediates demonstrated a greater preference for tangential approaches to teaching and were least happy with the nature of the teaching they had received while at university. Many of the differences reported in the literature between the different cognitive styles were not evident in this study. However, the interpersonal and intrapersonal characteristics of wholists and analytics, respectively, were evident and perceived to impact on planning and delivery in the classroom. While further schoolbased research involving greater numbers is required, interest in learning styles remains especially relevant if one intends to offer a truly inclusive education for all learners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-518
Number of pages20
JournalEducational Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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