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Case study: Using learning styles to improve the performance of hispanic students in the science classroom

1 August 1998


Hispanic students desperately need solutions to their history of failure ill American schools. With this study I explored the application of the learning styles theory to the instruction methods of Hispanic students in the science classroom. The purpose of the study was to answer the following central question: What can be done using learning styles to improve the performance of Hispanic students in the biology classroom? Research has demonstrated that when the learning styles of the students and the classroom activities match students show an increase in academic achievement (Neely & aIm, 1992; Hodgin & Wooliscroft, 1997). These findings were the starting point of this research, in which I used the Learning styles Inventory (LSI) developed by Dunn and Dunn to identify the learning preferences of select Hispanic students in a science classroom in Portland, Oregon. The results of the LSI and data collected during the study showed that the learning styles of select Hispanic students vary from auditory to tactile preferences. The learning preferences were addressed in the classroom with lab activities and reading assignments. The results did not show differences between the learning styles of high and low achievers. Lastly, the data collected showed that when the students' learning styles are complemented by the class activities students performed better.


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