The effect of learning style of Native Americans on achievement in academic subject areas in Montana tribal colleges

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Education, Health & Human Development


Because Native Americans have had difficulties in conventional college settings resulting in wide-spread attrition, this study investigated the effect of learning styles on achievement in subject areas of Native Americans in Montana tribal colleges. The Canfield Learning Style Inventory was administered to 693 students. A one-way analysis of variance was used to investigate the differences in achievement depending on learning style in each of eight subject areas of Liberal Arts, Science, Mathematics, Business, Vocational, Native American Studies, Developmental, and Physical Education. Tukey a priori post tests were performed on all significant differences. Significant differences at the .05 level were found in all eight subject areas. A total of 39 significant differences were found. These differences suggest that learning styles contribute to the success of the Native American student in all subject areas. Native American students should be made aware of learning style strengths, and should receive counseling on learning strategies. Instructors should use a variety of teaching methods. Overall conclusions suggest that since most students can learn, changes need to be made to teaching-learning methods, grading, and staff development. Areas for further research include similar studies with other ethnic and age populations, replication using larger samples in mathematics and science, and use of results along with learning strategies to counsel students to see if such counseling would produce better achievement.




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