Clinical Pilates in Practice: Learning Styles Neuromyth (September 2020)


The concept of learning styles has long been debunked, and yet they persist in all educational communities. This paper outlines why it is difficult to use theories of learning styles in practice: "the same term means different things to different teachers."


Papadatou-Pastou, Marietta, Anna K. Touloumakos, Christina Koutouveli, and Alexia Barrable. "The learning styles neuromyth: when the same term means different things to different teachers." European Journal of Psychology of Education, 2020. doi:10.1007/s10212-020-00485-2.



  • There are many models of learning styles, and therefore little consensus on what different learning styles connote.
  • The Visual-Auditory-(Reading)-Kinaesthetic (VARK/VAK) is the most common understanding of learning styles.
  • Theories of learning and learning styles are often confused.
  • Learning styles are also often confused with learning approaches and/or motivation theories.

There are many differences in learning, which do need to be considered and accommodated, but they cannot be summarised neatly into learning styles.

  • Encouraging learners  to reflect upon their own ways of learning supporting them to develop their own learning strategies is more effective.1



  • This may seem abstract for movement practitioners, but opens up discussions regarding our "tried-and-true" teaching methods and encourages a more holistic and collaborative approach to education and rehabilitation with our clients.
  • Focus on "learning to learn" and motor skill learning. 
  • Communicate with students: encourage learning reflection and strategies to help support their education. 



 1. Dinsmore, D. L., Alexander, P. A., & Loughlin, S. M. (2008). Focusing the conceptual lens on metacognition, self-regulation, and self-regulated learning. Educational Psychology Review, 20(4), 391–409.


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