Written for teachers, trainers, and instructional designers -- anyone who is responsible for designing or preparing instruction -- this book begins with one basic premise: individual differences mediate learning at all levels and in all situations. That is, some learners find it easier or more difficult to learn some skills or to learn from certain forms of instruction because they vary in terms of aptitude, cognitive styles, personality, or learning styles. This volume describes most of the major differences in a readable and accessible way and demonstrates how to design various forms of instruction and predict the ease with which learners will acquire different skills. Most books that discuss any learner differences focus on those that characterize special education populations, whereas this book focuses on normal learners.
Designed as a handbook, this volume is structured to provide easy and consistent access to information and answers, and prescriptions and hypotheses. When definitive answers are not possible because there is no research documentation, the authors suggest theories designed to stimulate future research.
"…this well-referenced handbook deserves serious consideration as a textbook in courses on individual differences."
—The Mathematics Teacher
"…makes good reading for anyone who is interested in understanding how individual differences in student characteristics relate to learning and instruction."
—The American Journal of Psychology
Contents: Part I:Individual Differences in Learning and Instruction. Individuals, Differences, and Learning. Individual Differences and Instruction. Adapting Instruction to Individual Differences and Learning Outcomes. Part II:Intelligence: Mapping Mental Abilities. Second-Order Mental Abilities: Cattell's Crystalized/Fluid Intelligence. Thurstone's Primary Mental Abilities. Guilford's Structure of the Intellect. Part III:Cognitive Controls. Field Dependence and Field Independence (Global vs. Articulated Style). Cognitive Flexibility (Constricted vs. Flexible Control). Impulsivity/Reflectivity: Cognitive Tempo. Focal Attention (Scanning vs. Focusing). Category Width (Breadth of Categorizing). Cognitive Complexity/Simplicity. Automization (Strong vs. Weak Automatization). Part IV:Cognitive Styles. Section A:Cognitive Styles: Information Gathering. Visual/Haptic. Visualizer/Verbalizer. Leveling/Sharpening. Section B:Cognitive Styles: Information Organizing. Serialist/Holist. Conceptual Style (Analytical/Relational). Part V:Learning Styles. Hill's Cognitive Style Mapping. Kolb's Learning Styles. Dunn & Dunn Learning Styles. Grasha-Reichman Learning Styles. Gregorc Learning Styles. Part VI:Personality Types and Learning. Section A:Personality: Attentional and Engagement Styles. Anxiety. Tolerance for Unrealistic Experiences. Ambiguity Tolerance. Frustration Tolerance. Section B:Personality: Expectancy and Incentive Styles. Locus of Control. Extroversion and Introversion. Achievement Motivation. Risk Taking versus Cautiousness. Part VII:Prior Knowledge. Prior Knowledge and Achievement. Structural Knowledge.