An Analysis of Learning Styles in Podiatric Medical Students, Residents, and Practitioners
Tomczak, Rodney L.
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The Problem. An attempt was made to determine whether there is any difference or change in learning styles as defined by Kolb in six groups of individuals. These groups were the Oral Examiners of the American Board of Podiatric Surgeons, surgeons who had been in practice at least ten years, pediatric surgical residents and students in the first three years of the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, College of Podiatric Medicine. Kolb feels that major learning styles are a combination of feeling versus abstract concepts and observation versus experimentation. A numerical score for each category can be determined and utilizing graph placement, a major mode of learning determined. Procedures. Utilizing grid scattergrams, Chi-Square Tests for the Goodness of Fit, Chi-Square Tests for Independence and Analysis of Mean and Standard Deviation of scores, the data were analyzed. Findings. It was discovered that all groups learned essentially the same way according to the Kolb Inventory. The exception to this was the Freshman who were tested prior to beginning classes. Conclusions. A significant finding, however, was that all groups were poor problem solvers, not being able to adequately use all four modes on the Learning Style. They were unable to resolve dialectic tensions between conflicting methods. Recommendations. In order to better facilitate medical school education, memorizing of facts should be deemphasized and more problem solving should be used as an educational method. This would foster all tenets of adult learning.
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