Students’ voices—the dynamic interactions between learning preferences, gender, learning disabilities, and achievements in science studies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Students’ individual characteristics influence the effectiveness of instruction and learning and, therefore, the depth of learning. This study brings forth the voices of middle school students regarding their science learning preferences through four modalities: visual, auditory, sensorimotor, and agency support. We examined the relationship between the students’ science learning preferences and three of their personal characteristics (gender, having or not having a learning disability, and level of scientific knowledge and skills). The study encompassed 305 students (166 girls) and applied a quantitative methodology employing two questionnaires: Scientific Knowledge and Skills and Learning Preferences. Analysis of variance and multiple regressions revealed that the participants favored all four learning modalities, with a significant preference for learning via visual and sensorimotor means. Girls significantly preferred learning preferences via visuals and agency support. A significant correlation was found between the level of preference for learning science via auditory means and the students’ level of scientific knowledge and skills. Hierarchical regression analysis showed a significant positive contribution of gender and preference for learning science via auditory means but no contribution of having a learning disability to the students’ level of scientific knowledge and skills. The study results show the importance of implementing multi-faceted instructional strategies to address students’ diversity and learning preferences. Our findings underscore the need for educators and policymakers to be attentive to the students’ voices when striving to narrow gaps, achieve equality among students, and elevate students’ knowledge and skills in science studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInstructional Science
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.

Keywords

  • Achievements
  • Gender
  • Learning disability
  • Learning preferences
  • Science education
  • Student diversity

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