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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Pedagogy and the intuitive appeal of learning styles in post-compulsory education in England

Nixon, Lawrence, Gregson, Margaret and Spedding, Patricia (2007) Pedagogy and the intuitive appeal of learning styles in post-compulsory education in England. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, Vol 59 (1). pp. 39-51. ISSN 1363-6820

Item Type: Article


Despite the rigorous and robust evaluation of learning styles theories, models and inventories, little objective evidence in support of their effectiveness has been found. The lack of unambiguous evidence in support of these models and practices leaves the continued popularity of these models and instruments as a puzzle. Two related accounts of the tenacious appeal are considered in this paper. First, the popularity of these accounts is explored in terms of their intuitive appeal. This notion is explicated in terms of what it is to be gripped by a metaphysical picture. It is argued that the simple and direct appeal of these models, viewed as metaphysical pictures, in part explains their continued popularity. Second, it is argued that when we situate these models in the arena of contemporary pedagogic practice in the Post‐compulsory Education and Training Sector it becomes possible to discern a number of ways in which they can also be recognized to serve specific instrumental ends. The apparent usefulness of these models will be challenged with reference to Dewey.

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More Information

Depositing User: Patricia Spedding


Item ID: 9260
Identification Number:
ISSN: 1363-6820
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Margaret Gregson: ORCID iD
ORCID for Patricia Spedding: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 09 May 2018 09:38
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2020 14:27


Author: Margaret Gregson ORCID iD
Author: Patricia Spedding ORCID iD
Author: Lawrence Nixon

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society
Faculty of Education and Society > School of Education


Education > Educational Research
Education > Further Education

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