Does the world around us impact our ability to learn? Or do we acquire knowledge through self-will? Furthermore, what if knowledge begins at the start of our social interactions? Several theories have been conducted to explore the styles of learning. Three theorists, Bronfenbrenner, Piaget, and Vygotsky share differing views of how cognitive development is achieved.
In school everyone learns differently; however, according to the article The Myth of Learning Styles, “The idea of learning styles is based on a theory… developed in the early 1980’s.” (pg 1.) A lot has certainly changed from the 1980’s as we learn new more material in every class we take. With this being said, someone the scientists referred to in the article “assumed” that learning styles challenged the way of the educational system when in reality, it is simply a myth. Students, like myself, only prefer to process information that they find useful or interesting to him or her. Thus giving us the problems of that teachers may take too long to cover one idea, and students may miss out out on information because he or she did not prefer that learning style.
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.
This student’s preferred learning strategy compared to the learning strategy provided by V.A.R.K. is almost identical. The learning strategies that have been used throughout her education have always netted good results, which is evident by her grades. In the past other students have commented about her learning style and the amount of time spent on note taking, outlines, and writing out note cards, but she has perfected this process for her learning style.
We all learn in diverse ways, inclined by the combination of our past educational experiences, study practices and personal approach to particular tasks. This can be designated as our learning style, defined as ‘particular ways of gathering, processing and storing information and experiences’ (Cuthbert, P.F., 2005).
“Just as students have different personalities, they also have different ways of learing (Slavin, 107).” Learning styles are another important factor to incorporate when implementing the best learning environment. Learning styles are defined as an individual's mode of gaining knowledge. The most common learning styles addressed are auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. Auditory leaners understand information through hearing. Visual learners need more visual aids in the learning process, such as diagrams, webs, or pictures. Kinesthetic learners learn better by using manipulatives or by being physically involved in the learning process. Learning styles is a piece of the “backbone” of differentiated learning. Both are used to individualize instruction to help students achieve the most success.
To travel more smoothly along their educational journey, it is also helpful to students to have a good understanding of their personal learning style. For example, I have discovered that I learn best by reading, audio or demonstrational video. In sitting through a lecture, I find myself easily distracted by the presenter’s mannerism or style. Having good reading resources, listening to recorded lectures, or viewing technical videos allows me to productively maintain my focus. Others may not be as comfortable with reading, and would prefer learning in a live lecture environment. Knowing their learning style and using it to their advantage will provide the student with the assurance that they will learn productively and stay on track with their goals.
It can be argued that the more modalities employed and presented to students, the greater their chance for successful learning becomes. As educators, if we appeal to all strategies of learning, we are more likely to enhance the learning of everyone in our target audience. This may be challenging as we ourselves tend to flock to a particular learning style, and in turn, tend to teach the same way. It also may be a challenge to address each individuals learning style, as it may be difficult, or even impossible to know each and every one of their learning preferences. However, the first step in overcoming that challenge is to be well versed in our own learning preferences. If we are well versed in our own
The learning style survey reflected that I am a strong visual learner. The survey was extremely accurate and has a strong correlation as to why certain subjects are easier for me to be successful in than others. For example, math is easier for me to grasp than literature based courses. Mathematics is comprised of complex formulas and diagrams. Explicit modeling must be done by the instructor (solving problems on the board and drawing diagrams) in order to effectively teach math. This is a direct contrast to literature instruction.
We all learn in different ways, influenced by the combination of our past educational experiences, study practices and personal approach to specific tasks. This can be described as our learning style, defined as ‘particular ways of gathering, processing and storing information and experiences’ (Cuthbert, P.F., 2005).
Education benefits individual mentally, emotionally and physically by placing them in better place than they were previously before. Everybody would agree that learning something new would take place throughout the life. Learning style defined as "A term that describes the variations among learners in using one or more senses to understand, organize, and retain experience" (Reid, 1987, p. 89). Furthermore, Felder and Henriques (1995, p. 21) explained learning styles as "the ways in which an individual characteristically acquires, retains and retrieves information". However, different learners possess different characteristics and different preferred learning styles to perceive, process, take in and understand information.
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
Personal learning styles are highly complex and unique to specific individuals. It is often difficult to pinpoint an exact learning style. Though there are different categories, we often fine tune them to our own abilities. By examining our traits and tendencies we create a clearer understanding of how we process and learn information. With careful review, I have developed a specific analysis of my learning characteristics, including an evaluation of skill levels. Based on what I have recently learned and know from experience, I have also devised a structured plan for improvement of time management and study skills.
Education is something often seen as an equalizer in the face of social injustice. The concept of using school and information to put different people on a level playing field is a noble but misguided attempt at social equality. Education undoubtedly affects the position of people in society positively, while creating an outlet to educate the ignorant, it becomes problematic when education is not an equal opportunity for everyone. In Adrienne Rich’s essay, “Taking Women Students Seriously”, she speaks of the inequality mainly affecting women while subtly hinting at the inequality present in education in regards to race and class. Gender, race and class are three characteristics that work together to create either a positive or negative profile for one’s education.