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Learning styles research: Its implications for multi-cultural education

16 July 2006


The rapidly growing numbers of immigrants and international students in developed countries call for the study on teaching and learning practices to more effectively respond to the culturally diverse learning needs of students. Multicultural education is considered to be an effective response to the challenges brought by students from different cultural backgrounds. This paper, with Banks' five dimensions of multicultural education (1993) as the backdrop, explores how knowledge of learning styles can help build multicultural classrooms. The author seeks to advance the hypothesis that the principles of multicultural education and culturally responsive learning styles instruction in particular will result in a higher degree of educational success for immigrant and international students. Based on previous work on learning styles, some definitions, dimensions and instruments of learning styles and preferences are offered in support of the hypothesis presented. Research on learning styles for multicultural classrooms is reported, followed by illustration of how knowledge of learning styles helps construct a multicultural learning environment around Banks' framework. Suggestions, limitations and warnings are discussed.


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