Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Learning about Learning Styles, not important? Think again.

This NPR article, Think You're An Auditory Or Visual Learner? Scientists Say It's Unlikely, speaks to the fact that teaching to one learning style or another is not best practice. I can't argue with that, however children do prefer different modes of learning, that doesn't mean they don't learn from all of them.
The author says here that we should "mix up" how we teach, so that students experience a variety of learning throughout the instruction.

"And, in that case, he says, there's a lot of common ground. For example, variety. "Mixing things up is something we know is scientifically supported as something that boosts attention," he says, adding that studies show that when students pay closer attention, they learn better."

I completely agree with this! But teachers need to understand learning styles and how to teach to them so that they are able to "mix it up". Everyone, including teachers, prefer to express themselves in certain ways. I like to talk it out, my husband can't explain anything without drawing you a picture, etc. Knowing how you communicate as an educator will help as you plan and deliver your instruction. Know thyself...is the first step.

I would hate for this study to take away from the importance of getting to know your students. Building relationships in the classroom is not just finding out your students' favorite hobbies; it is more about discovering who they are as learners and in turn, empowering the students with this knowledge.

1 comment:

  1. I definitely mix it up in my classroom! We watch videos, draw, and write/speak paragraphs. I each kid gleans a little from each activity and in the end the amount of learning going on is much greater than if I simply presented the material in one method.