Skip to main content

Learning styles: Attitudes and behaviors of fourth grade students when instructed in preferred sensory modes

1 June 1998


The purpose of this qualitative study was to answer four research questions: 1) What are the consequences, in terms of attitude and behavior, of teaching using students' preferred sensory modes? 2) How are preferred modes of sensory perception met during instruction? 3) How do students feel about specific subjects when they study using their preferred sensory mode? And 4) Are there any behavior changes in students when instruction is delivered in a sensory mode that is different from their preferred? This study took place in a large suburban elementary school in the Pacific Northwest. The participants were fourth grade students; 12 girls and 13 boys. Information was gathered in the classroom by doing participant observations and interviewing the students and the classroom teacher. In order to protect the participant's privacy, I have used pseudonyms for all participants in the study. After collecting and analyzing extensive amounts of information, my research revealed that teaching to students' preferred perceptual modes is extremely beneficial in terms of attitude and behavior of the children. Attitude was excellent toward school, specific subjects, and activities if the subjects were studied using the primary perceptual mode and if instruction was delivered in a preferred mode. Behavior remained on-task when students were engaged in activities they enjoyed, as a result of being taught in their primary mode of perception.


Files are restricted to Pacific University. Sign in to view.