Student Learning Styles Scales Grasha-Reichmann


Background of Grasha and Reichmann

Anthony Grasha is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Cincinnati. His areas of specialization are in cognitive and social processes in human error, learning and teaching styles, cognitive processes in stress and coping, and in conflict resolution.


Theory Behind the Model

Grasha and Sheryl Reichmann developed the Grasha-Reichmann Learning Style Scales (GRLSS) in 1974 to determine college students' styles of classroom participation. The Grasha-Reichmann model focuses on student attitudes toward learning, classroom activities, teachers, and peers rather than studying the relationships among methods, student style, and achievement.


Grasha became interested in learning styles while he was a psychology teaching assistant at the University of Cincinnati. His earliest interests were in styles he thought to be negative (Avoidant, Competitive, Dependent). He interviewed 50-75 students on their reactions to traditional classroom procedures and found the negative reactions he later labeled as styles.


To test his ideas, he compared student attitudes in his classes and those of a traditionally oriented colleague. He found his students to be, by their analysis, more Participative, Collaborative, and Independent than those of his colleague. Grasha's original idea was that Avoidant, Dependent, and Competitive styles were always dysfunctional.


It is proposed that the six styles (described below) can be changed by consistent use of one teaching method. The authors also propose that students naturally select the most productive style.


1.       Avoidant students tend to be at the lower end of the grade distribution. They tend to have high absenteeism, they organize their work poorly, and take little responsibility for their learning.

2.       Participative students are characterized as willing to accept responsibility for self-learning and relate well to their peers.

3.       Competitive students are described as suspicious of their peers leading to competition for rewards and recognition.

4.       Collaborative students enjoy working harmoniously with their peers.

5.       Dependent students typically become frustrated when facing new challenges not directly addressed in the classroom.

6.       Independent students prefer to work alone and require little direction from the teacher.