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Differences in Learning Style Preference of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 Pupils in Primary School, using the VARK Model.

Pooley, Connie (2017) Differences in Learning Style Preference of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 Pupils in Primary School, using the VARK Model. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This study investigates learning style preferences among children in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 primary school. It looks for differences within Key Stages, and additionally notes variances in whole-school and gender preference. The sample consisted of 56 pupils, 26 KS1 and 30 KS2, who attended mainstream primary school based in Manchester. Pupils took part in four ‘challenges’, testing each of the VARK learning styles (Fleming and Mills, 1992); Visual, Auditory, Read-Write and Kinesthetic. A teacher/ teaching assistant then completed an adapted VARK questionnaire based on own perception of individual pupils learning style. Both test scores and questionnaire data was recorded and analysed using SPSS via Mixed ANOVA, t-test and Pearson’s correlation coefficient. The data established significant interaction between Key Stage and learning preference, Wilks’ Lambda= .829, F. (3, 52) = 3.573, p=.020, partial eta squared= .171. The study also found no significant difference between gender and no significant whole-school preference, although when compared via t-test, kinesthetic learning preference appeared dominant. These findings were consistent with previous literature. The present study provided new literature on differences within primary children, which can be used by educators to improve attainment and motivation of pupils. Ideas for future research have been suggested in order to provide depth and knowledge into Key Stage and learning preference, such as investigating multi-modal preferences and Key Stage.

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