Ellis, Robert and Allan, Robert (2008) Learning styles and learning strategies: assessing their impact on Science Foundation students. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 10 (2). ISSN 1466-6529

Science Foundation is an integral part of the University of Huddersfield’s commitment to widening participation. It is specifically designed for those looking to study and work in the sciences but who lack the appropriate qualifications or experience to enrol as first-year undergraduates. In each year’s cohort there is a wide spectrum of diversity in terms of age, ethnicity, social class, previous academic achievement and previous work experience. Many of those who enrol can be described as non-traditional. In the main, they are returning to full-time education following an extended break or they have recently underperformed in previous studies. Intuitively, the introduction of learning styles into the curriculum may help these students cope better with their transition into the culture of higher education. Building on the recent critiques of learning style theories, this article gives consideration to the implications for teaching and learning that their introduction have. It places quantitative and qualitative research undertaken with Science Foundation students within a framework of equity and employability. Ultimately it argues that the way in which learning styles are used has to reflect the motivations and aspirations of students.

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