EDUCATIONAL AND CAREER IMPLICATIONS FOR THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY OF EXTREME FIELD PREFERENCE COGNITIVE STYLES IN THE UNITED STATES
Virginia Commonwealth University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Page: 4336 (abstract only)
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Malcolm Knowles (1973), among others, points out that understanding how a person learns is a major requisite for a successful educational program. The question of how a person learns is the focus of the concept of learning style (Pigg, Busch and Lacy, 1980). Learning styles can be defined as characteristic cognitive, affective, and physiological behaviors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how learners perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment (Keefe, 1979). Cognitive styles are information processing habits representing the learner's typical mode of perceiving, thinking, problem solving, and remembering." Some researchers believe that the concept of learning style" is the most important concept to demand attention in education in many years and is the core of what it means to be a person" (Guild and Garger, 1985, p. viii). Studies have shown that identifying a student's learning style and providing appropriate instruction in response to that style can contribute to more effective learning (Claxton & Murrell, 1987). Information about certain of these characteristics can also help faculty become more sensitive to the differences that students bring to the classroom.
This presentation will focus on research conducted using three groups of students, an N of approximately 500, both first degree and graduate degree by this author on the Field Independence vs dependence. Cognitive Style. This dimension of cognitive learning styles measures whether the learner uses an "analytical as opposed to a global way of experiencing the [subject matter] environment" (Keefe, 1979, p. 9). In the same book, he later suggests that "Field independence (FI) vs dependence (FD)" seem to have a great implication for improving the learning process. Findings suggest that in the US there is a great variation of field preference. Unfortunately, FID scores are not randomly distributed across the student population. The literature and my own current research indicates that Black students are more Field Dependent than students from other races. Potential reasons for this descrepency are suggested.
This variation has significance for the use of technology in the classroom, including online education, and might provide insights into the disproportionately low percentage of Black students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs, and the low percentage of professionals in the Health disciplines who are Black.
Keywords: learning styles, cognitive styles, Field preference, Technology in the classroom