LEARNING STYLES IN MATHEMATICS – A QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH ON 10TH GRADE PORTUGUESE STUDENTS
The article reports a research project aimed to describe the learning styles in mathematics of the Portuguese students at the 10th grade, and to analyze how those styles are related to the students’ performance. For this quantitative, descriptive and correlational research, I used a questionnaire based on the ILS (Inventory of Learning Styles) of Vermunt (1994), which I’ve adapted to the context of the learning of mathematics by the students at the Portuguese secondary schools. The sample, resulting from a multi-stage method, was composed by 579 students of 28 public schools. Within the conclusions of the research, I emphasize the detection of a learning style that is strongly correlated to the motivational learning orientations and to the self-regulated learning, being however still undefined it what concerns the cognitive processing strategies. This stile, if hold in a favorable context, may turn into a “meaning oriented” learning style. I also detected the four styles usually reported at Vermunt’s ILS’ applications: “meaning oriented”, “reproduction oriented”, “application oriented” and “not oriented”, as well as the positive contribution of a “meaning oriented” style to the scholar performance in mathematics, opposite to the effect of the “reproduction oriented” one.
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