Burton, Rob (2009) Learning styles and neuro-linguistic programming representational systems in nurse education. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.
Abstract

The main aim of this study was to investigate student nurses' learning experiences. The study had two
main aims:
1. To investigate the relationship between Learning Styles and Neuro-Linguistic Programming
(NLP) representational systems in Pre-Registration Nurse Education.
2. To explore NLP representational systems as a means of enhancing teaching and learning in Preregistration
Nurse Education
Learning Style theory is well recognised in education, although there are some criticisms related to its
validity and reliability. NLP is making a major impact on communications, learning and development
in the commercial, health and sports sectors. Cognitive Psychology and the concepts of information
processing and learning strategies encompass both learning style theory and NLP and is therefore
utilised as a theoretical framework in this study.
The study was conducted in two parts: Firstly, a questionnaire was delivered to student nurses to
ascertain their learning style and internal representational preferences. From this a correlational
approach was established to highlight important relationships. Secondly, some of the students were
video interviewed to determine how they structured their learning experiences internally and how this
was demonstrated in their body positions.
The findings showed that Honey and Mumfords' Theorist learning style was most strongly preferred
amongst this sample population. The Visual internal representational system was preferred over the
Kinaesthetic and Auditory modalities. The Theorist learning style and Visual modality also showed a
positive correlation, as did Activist and the Smell modality.
It is recognised that learning style preferences should be used for students to gain awareness of ways to
enhance their learning, and that rich, multi-sensory learning environments should also be encouraged.
In. the light of the findings in this study it is suggested that the visual modality be utilised, via the use of
visual tools and metaphor, and that approaches such as problem based learning (PBL) should be
considered in order to benefit students of all learning style preferences.

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