The impact of learning-style based instruction on student engagement and reading comprehension in a third grade classroom

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Lewis, Teresa
Carroll, Jeri A.

The researcher examined various strategies in an attempt to increase student engagement and academic achievement in the classroom. A study was conducted on 23 students in a third grade reading classroom in a midwestern, suburban elementary school with a population of 863 students. The researcher assessed each student's learning style: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactual. Half of the students were placed in a group matching their dominant learning style, while half were randomly chosen to be placed in a group other than their dominant learning style. The researcher implemented differentiated learning plans for each learning style group and documented their engagement as well as academic progress. It was determined that the learning style based instruction was very successful for some students but not for others. Student engagement showed a wide range of results for the matched students as well as the unmatched students. Most students' academic gains as measured by weekly reading tests were small; however, the students who were strong in the visual learning style made the highest gains. The researcher concluded that the results did not justify the extra resources needed to implement learning-style based instruction in the classroom setting.

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Thesis (M.Ed.)--Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Curriculum and Instruction