Through the years I’ve had to learn to adopt different learning styles. Starting school in the late sixties, there was little emphasis on why students learned differently. Students were to memorize and understand what was put before them. I recognize now the difficulty I faced possessing traits of an “auditory”, “visual”, and “kinesthetic” learner trying to conform to the rigid structure of comprehension and memorization the material put before me. In my early school days I was considered too much of a distraction, and insistently corrected to force my compliance, keeping my hands in my pockets or behind my back. The frustration of myself and my educators from bending an individual to fit the curriculum had a lasting effect influencing my
For years, there have been many theorists who have shared their views on how individuals learn. Such research has determined that individuals have different learning styles. It is important for teacher to understand the learning styles of both themselves and their students because it helps them to relay the subject knowledge to the students. The teacher is in a position where they must be able to assess the learning styles of their students. This means that the students and teachers are both in a process of learning.
Students have their own best way in effectively learning the lesson. With the diversity of students, the problem is each student has a preferred learning style. It becomes undeniably one of the reasons that make it difficult to achieve the best expected outcome out of teachers’ effort. However, teachers try to incorporate various teaching techniques to make every learning opportunity become productive, meaningful, and relevant for the learners.
It is practical to assume that students will do better in tasks that reflect their particular style of learning, so knowledge of students’ learning styles, including a variety of tasks will make teaching more inclusive. A learning style questionnaire could be handed out at the start of a course which, once completed will inform the teacher about the learning styles of the students.
The theory of adult learning is the assumptions about how adults learn. Emphasizes the value of the process of learning in adults ("Adult Learning Theory," 2007). Malcom Knowles and American practitioner and theorist of adult education defined is as an art and science of helping adults learn ("Adult Learning Theory," 2007). Knowles also defined six adult learning principles as adults are internally motivated and self-directed, adults bring life experiences and knowledge to learning experiences and are goal orientated. They also relevancy oriented and are practical learners who like to be respected when in the classroom ("Adult Learning Theory," 2007). As educators, we need to foster the adult learner’s internal motivation to learn. Develop a rapport with the adult learner, encourage them to ask questions and explore concepts. Some adult learners come with years of experience and knowledge, with this as an instructor or teacher we need to harvest this information and have them apply it to their
Knowles posits that adult learners are self directed and autonomous. They are goal oriented, practical and must see and understand the relevance of any training. Adults bring an abundance of experience and knowledge, experiential learning, with them. Most importantly, “…adults need to be shown respect.” (Lieb)
In the practice of teaching, it is the responsibility of a teacher not only to teach students subject matter, but to teach students in order to enable them to grow and develop as a person. While it is essential for students to have an understanding of academic material, it is also equally as important that when students finish their education they have skills to use in
Learning styles and barriers to learning can be by the VARK to give a profile of learning preferences of how a person takes in and gives out information or Tidwell and Rodgers Practical learning styles Questionnaire. The VARK learning styles determines if the person learns by being a theorist, reflector, activist and/or pragmatist. The practical learning styles questionnaire looks at how people learn by their orientation, whether they are a realistic or creative, by their interaction, are they a doer or a thinker, by how they represent things, either by words or pictures, and how they process information, whether they are a surface or deep processor. There are many other
I think this entire book is focused around the idea of differentiated instruction. I know that all my students will have different learning styles, so knowing that makes me side heavily with the ideas within this text. I think the idea within the text that impressed me the most was the classification of learning styles. I had never seen the learning styles portrayed the way this book described them. There are four learning styles: mastery, for learners who want to learn practical information and procedures; interpersonal, for learners who want to learn about things that affect people’s lives; understanding, for learners who want to use logic, debate, and inquiry to investigate ideas; self-expressive, for learning who want to use their imaginations to explore ideas. The text also talks about a fifth learning style, one that combines the four previously described all together. The way the idea of these four learning styles were described, made them make more sense to me than they ever have before. I would be extremely interested in continuing my knowledge of these learning styles. It would be great to get intimate enough with them that I could get to know a student and have an idea of what sort of learning style they
A person with this learning style excels in the capacity to examine situations from many angles and generate many ideas. Studies indicate that individuals with the diverging learning style are interested in people and are creative and expressive. They also tend to be fascinated in the arts and often have humanities or liberal arts backgrounds. Counselors, organizational development specialists, and human resource managers have exhibited this learning style. (casa colorado teaching seminar Kolb Learning Style Inventory Info pdf website, 2008)
I want to be able to identify them quicker and be able to use methods that appeal to their learning styles specifically. I believe that this can be accomplished through practice. Last semester I started to see a difference in how I approached each individual student. After becoming aware of how students learn differently, I saw myself seeking clues to tell me how they are thinking about each problem. As long as this doesn’t lead to putting students in boxes before getting to know them completely, I believe by the end of the semester I will be able to recognize and help students of differing learning styles more efficiently.
My 10th grade class has been engaged in Sherman Alexie’s novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, for the past two weeks. Our time has been consumed with reading and writing exercises while the students work in the mode that best suits them and how they learn as individuals. As their teacher, my goal is to have each student learning and actively engaged in my class. In order to achieve this, my instruction must be differentiated to fit each student. With this in mind and with the help of my paraprofessional, I have tried to create an environment of learning that suits all through different strategies.
Effective differentiated instruction reflects where the students currently are in their educational stage and not where a teacher wishes them to be. This step is important; placing students either too high or too low in the instruction can be adverse to the teacher’s goal of helping all students. Developing lesson strategies for students that are too demanding may have a negative effect on performance and reinforce negative emotions concerning learning. Likewise, developing lesson strategies that do not challenge students to perform at their best can also have a negative effect. Some students that are not engaged by a teacher's instruction are left adrift waiting for new or more stimulating material. Engaging students in the learning strategy is the key ingredient in producing active learners.
Throughout the majority of my education, including college, I have felt like a passive member of the classroom. Teachers saw me as a clear slate that needed to be filled with information. I consumed countless facts, and memorized numerous processes, most of them not being my own. This approach to teaching has proven to be unsuccessful to the goals of education. Students are diverse, with their own learning styles and their own knowledge that they bring to the table, and these should be supported and expanded on in the classroom. The goal of education is to support learners and thinkers, and not to condition minds to all think the same ways.