Do you forget faces but remember names? Are you distracted by sounds and noises? Do you dislike listening to others for too long? As the new school year begins, thousands of pupils across Britain will be faced with a sheet of paper containing questions like these. And the answers they give could significantly affect the education they receive.

The aim of the questionnaire is to determine each individual child’s “learning style” – the way they process and absorb new information – so that teachers can plan lessons accordingly. The existence of individual learning styles is one of the most deeply rooted – and least questioned – orthodoxies in education today.

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