Discrediting or dismissing (dissing) theories of learning styles is a cheap and easy shot. It is also a negative one because it does not help anyone who is involved in learning and teaching. So why do some academics do it? Why do they now tell us that learning styles are a myth; they do not exist. Yet, in doing so, they fail to present any other theory or approach to help teachers and learners.
It may be, it may well be, that each of our current theories ( and there are a lot of them) is wrong; partly wrong, mainly wrong or completely wrong. Even if every theory is completely wrong, that does not mean ‘learning styles’ do not exist. It means that we have not yet found the correct understanding.
There is a challenge which learning styles sought to address. Let us put aside all learning styles and whether they exist or not and to look at that challenge. The challenge is to give us an understanding of how learners learn at different paces, learn different things and retain their learning to different degrees, when presented with the same learning input. Furthermore, the challenge also requires that teachers and learners be given information on how learning input (teaching, resources, etc.) can be modified to facilitate equal learning for all learners.
That is the challenge which learning styles sought to address and they may have all been wrong. Learning styles are, after all, only theories and so, by their nature, they may well be wrong. What I would wish for, though, is that those academics who spend so much time ‘dissing’ other people’s theories would spend more time developing and devising their own theories; theories which may be better based in evidence, experience and understanding.