The learning styles of the world’s greatest inventors and thinkers?
June 23, 2016 1:48 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for resources on the learning styles of famous inventors and thinkers?

I am looking for resources on the learning styles of famous inventors and thinkers? For example, was Einstein’s Theory of Relativity primarily based on visual or logical thinking? What sort of learning style was used by Leonardo de Vinci etc? Any source recommendations would be appreciated.
posted by jacobean to Science & Nature (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Given the doubt that's been cast on the whole concept of learning styles, it seems like it would be hard to reliably characterize a historical figure as having had one or another.
posted by lakeroon at 6:11 AM on June 23, 2016 [5 favorites]

Best answer: The book "Wired to Create" does a pretty good job of covering this topic.
posted by lafemma at 6:21 AM on June 23, 2016

What lakeroon said.

Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence: "We conclude therefore, that at present, there is no adequate evidence base to justify incorporating learning-styles assessments into general educational practice."

Student "Learning Styles" Theory Is Bunk: "According to the theory, if we know what sort of a learner a child is, we can optimize his or her learning by presenting material the way that they like. The prediction is straightforward: Kids learn better when they are taught in a way that matches their learning style than when they are taught in a way that doesn’t. That’s a straightforward prediction. The data are straightforward too: It doesn’t work."

Learning Styles FAQ

Howard Gardner: ‘Multiple intelligences’ are not ‘learning styles’

Advice about the Use of Learning Styles: A Major Myth in Education

Think You're An Auditory Or Visual Learner? Scientists Say It's Unlikely

The Myth of Learning Styles Infographic
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 6:24 AM on June 23, 2016 [5 favorites]

I agree that there is no evidence for "learning styles", but a lot of research has been done on creative work/creative genius and what enhances it, the book I suggested covers that area well.

People who achieve a lot tend to have a strong intrinsic motivation to learn and master a topic, they often have a wide range of interests, so they tend to achieve highly in more than one domain (reflected in strong Openness to Experience personality trait), they tend to be good observers of the world around them and they are often highly sensitive.
posted by lafemma at 7:24 AM on June 23, 2016

Even if teaching to learning styles isn't a thing, some things are known about some people attacked problems. Einstein, for example, is famous for thought experiments. He would find a case or example that high-lighted the phenomenon he was interested it, and work through a process that he couldn't do in the lab. Edison, on the other had, did not have the theoretical background to do that. Actually didn't have much formal education at all, but he would go into the lab and experiment exhaustively.

One difference in learning between individuals has to do with quickness. Von Neumann was prodigiously quick, especially with mental calculation. If I remember what I was told correctly, Hardy was not. He would take longer to read something than his colleagues, but he was the most influential mathematician of the early 20th century.
posted by SemiSalt at 8:44 AM on June 23, 2016

A lot of great scientists left notebooks and other papers, so if you are sufficiently interested you can dive deep here. For example, thousands of pages of Newton's notebooks are available online -- just google.

But if you don't have the patience for primary sources, I'm not sure what's good out there.
posted by grobstein at 9:34 AM on June 23, 2016

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