The Existential Quest For American Schools

1505 WordsAug 29, 20167 Pages
Throughout the history of mankind, sages, poets, philosophers – and many others – have struggled to answer the existential question, “Who am I?” Even The Who, a famed rock band, dared to ask, “Who are you?” Today, that quest can be fulfilled through a series of short questions through various oracles: Myer-Briggs Personality test, Kinsey Scale test, VAK learning styles, People Styles at Work, What Color is My Parachute – and many others. Currently, this existential quest has been extended, in light of the poor performance of American schools when compared internationally, to include “How do I learn?” Current oracles include Felder’s Learning Styles and Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences – and many others. Traditionally, schools have relied…show more content…
My learning styles Aha moment! came while in the Air Force, which is known for testing incoming airmen for everything: I was given a learning styles test. My score was 1:0:19, out of 20 total, on the VAK test. The score means my main way of learning was kinematic (K:19), followed by a paltry visual (V:1) and zero for audible (A:0). The hallelujah chorus sang as I then understood all my struggles with learning: I get nothing, absolutely nothing, from lectures. I have currently taking Felder’s Learning Styles (Felder, R.M., and Soloman, B.A) and Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences (MI Oasis) tests and the results are no surprise. According to Felder, I am described as a moderate active (5), mild sensing (3), high visual (9), and low (1) global learner (Felder, R.M., and Soloman, B.A.). Active corresponds to hands-on, interactive learning, i.e. kinematic and labs. I found I best retain information after a Q&A group study session and Felder confirms it. Same with sensing: I need to know where I am going and then I learn the details. In fact, I can be anal when it comes to details and following protocol, which is an essential skill for engineers and scientists, or anybody trying to avoid mid-air collisions. As a visual learner, I need more than verbal input. Unfortunately, traditional schooling uses mainly verbal and logistical teaching methods, which leaves the non-traditional learning-styles student to struggle. Interestingly, my score
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