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The various formal assessment instruments that purport to measure learning styles detect differences in two general ways.
In the category of instruments that looks for style preferences, respondents usually self-report their favored approaches to learning.
There is very little disagreement that a relationship does exist between the culture in which children live (or from which they are descended) and their preferred ways of learning.
And they are important because, ultimately, every educational decision is evaluated according to its impact on individual students' learning.
One reason that the linkage between culture and learning styles is controversial is that generalizations about a group of people have often led to naive inferences about individuals within that group.
For the most part, people who are familiar with each group have written these descriptions to sensitize people outside the culture to the experiences of children inside the culture.
They have often contrasted minority students' learning patterns with European-American students' ways of learning and the school practices designed for such students. (October 1989) “The Influence of Perceptual Development on Cognitive Style: Cross Ethnic Comparisons.” Early Child Development and Care 51: 137–155.