How to use learning styles
Perhaps the concept of learning styles is familiar to you. You must have heard someone described as visual.
Basically, the idea of learning styles is as follows: by identifying individual differences in how people learn, we could provide the most appropriate learning for them and improve their performance.
There are many systems or models that relate to learning styles. These are some of the best known.
- Gardner’s theory of multiple intellect. Howard Gardner suggested that intellect is more a set of different abilities (spatial intelligence, verbal, logical, kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intra-personal, natural and existential) than a single cognitive ability expressed by the coefficient of mental development.
- Model VAK/VARK. According to this model, people have a propensity for different styles of learning, such as visual, auditory, kinesthetic or reading-based learning.
- Model Kolba. David Kolb suggested classifying learning styles (convergence, exclusion, assimilation, adjustment) based on the listener’s preference for abstract/concrete and active/reflective experiences.
HOW TO USE LEARNING STYLES?
Almost none. Unfortunately, the scientific basis for effective use of learning styles is rather weak (at least at the time of writing this book). There are a number of assumptions that really can not be proved: first, that the propensity for this or that style of learning can be quantitatively measured, and secondly, that there is a practical way to adapt the learning process to these styles. Probably, in the future technologies will allow to solve these problems, but while there are no examples proving efficiency of application of the given concept.
I decided to mention the use of learning styles, because this idea is quite popular now, although there is no tangible benefit from it yet. It is possible that, thanks to new research, the situation will change. Go to the site and find out morehttps://argoprep.com/blog/learning-styles-series-the-interpersonal-learner/
However, not everything is lost, and there are a few useful considerations that can be drawn from the theory of learning styles.
- People learn differently. Even if you cannot adapt the learning process to the individual style of the listener, create situations that involve multiple approaches. This will make the process more interesting and the material memorable. Varied styles can also help to counteract the tendency of students to get used to it (see below).
- There are different types of intellect. I used to teach students in an art college and they were very attracted to the idea of multiple intellect because it justified their abilities that did not fit into traditional notions of intelligence.
- There are more similarities than differences between us. With the exception of physical disabilities, we all learn by visual, auditory, and kinesthetic methods, and we all have different types of intellectual abilities, expressed in varying degrees.
- The approach to learning can be varied depending on the subject at hand. While there is no evidence yet that individual learning styles are effective, there is evidence that it is worth adapting the learning process to the characteristics of the material being taught. At the very least, common sense can be used to adjust the approach to specific tasks. You don’t want your car mechanic to actually learn from audiobooks, do you?
HOW DO YOU KNOW MORE ABOUT YOUR LISTENERS?
So how do you get to know your listeners better? There are some good books on analyzing the learning process (start with Alison Rosset’s First Things Fast), as well as many studies on how to get to know your audience.
I’m not going to go into too much detail on this issue, I’ll just point out the basic actions that I think are necessary for effective audience analysis:
- talk to your listeners;
- keep an eye on them;
- try something new in class.