Monday, October 14, 2013

Blog 6: Learning Styles

Concerning learning styles, I’m not sure that they are as easy to identify as they seem. My own learning style is definitely Visual-Verbal. I’ve been a bookworm all my life. As a kid, looking for answers to whatever I felt curious about, I would sooner read a book than ask an adult. Seeing things written out offers me the best form of clarification, even when it’s just me writing things down in my planner.
I have a professor that I think may be either Auditory or Visual Non-verbal, because her teaching style is certainly not supportive of learning styles like mine. She talks a great deal, but does not use a PowerPoint to help us to follow along, and due to her thick accent, you have to listen very closely in order to distinguish what she’s actually saying. Otherwise, the cryptic symbols and equations she draws on the board will remain a mystery. I find myself learning more from the text book than I do from her. I don’t mean to complain, but I can see how frustrating it might be for someone with a certain learning style to deal with an educational system that focuses mainly on one or two learning styles.
The other day, I tried identifying a particular tutee’s learning style. At the beginning of the session, she picked up a pink colored pencil and giggled, saying how much she liked pink. She would draw arrows and diagrams of what was I talking to her about, so I took a chance and suggested that her style might be visual non-verbal. She agreed with a non-committal “maybe”, and then said that she really wasn’t very good at drawing and she normally wrote things out. I wasn’t sure what to say. Aren’t visual non-verbals usually good at drawing? I really have no idea since my learning habits don’t necessary align with that learning style.
I think that since learning habits can be so diverse, it is not valid to sort people into exactly one learning style. They may have a greater part in one style and a lesser part in another style. I’m not planning on becoming a teacher, but to those in the class who are, I think it would be a very good idea to implement a variety of styles into your teaching to help support the wide variety of learners that you will encounter.


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