The Myth of “Learning Styles”

Writen by Dr. Paul Ochoa


Throughout high school, college and postgraduate programs learning styles have always been a point of contention with me. Yes, I like powerpoint presentations but I also learn from lecturing and of course as a PT, I am a kinesthetic learner as well. So, what style am I??

Short answer, all of them.

This article by Olivia Goldhill talks about how the concept of “learning styles” is one of the most believed psychological myths!

How does this relate to PT?

If you have ever been to PT you know the importance of a home exercise program. You also know that there are many ways we, as teachers, can make sure you, as a learner, will remember what to do. There are handouts, written descriptions and (my favorite) videos. All to satisfy the learning styles of our patients!

So what is the best way to remember the correct way of doing an exercise?

By doing it over and over again with correct with supervision form your PT. No matter the “learning style” an exercise is a kinesthetic activity that needs to be learned by movement. The same way we need to actually drive in order to learn how to drive (driving being a kinesthetic activity) we need to exercise to learn how to exercise.