I am a bit like a sponge and have always been okay with learning in a lot of different ways, so I wasn’t surprised to see that the results of the learning style survey came back with a four-way tie, Logical-Mathematical, Visual-Spatial, Intrapersonal, and Naturalistic. I tried to decide which I thought fit me the best, but I don’t think I could honestly choose one; they all fit very well.The four styles that were chosen, in my mind, are all connected in that they all involve creativity. Most people probably wouldn’t include logical-mathematical within the realm of “creativity”, but for me I think it fits. For example, I’m the schedule maker in my school. It is a very logical-mathematical task, but it also involves being able to think creatively about how time can be used the most effectively. Overall I don’t think the method of presenting content really matters much in terms of how well I learn. I suppose for me, how I learn is more dependent upon what it is that I am learning or trying to do than the delivery method. I am going to learn about accounting in a different way than I would learn about gardening. The mode of learning and depth of what I learn also depends on how motivated I am to learn about it. Is this a topic or idea genuinely interesting to me? Is it going to help me to reach a personal or professional goal? How much of an investment have I already made into learning about this? How I feel about those three questions also factors into how I will learn something.
I agree that we can’t focus solely on learning styles in our classrooms. I think there are times to take it into account (like when I had 16 of 18 students diagnosed as ADD or ADHD - we did a LOT of kinesthetic learning that year), but I don’t think it should be a primary concern. In my opinion, the focus should be more on providing opportunities for individual one-on-one attention within the normal classroom setting. In my class, I use workshops to facilitate this. If I solely focused on learning styles, I would always be ignoring the needs of at least one group of learners, if not more. With the one-on-one/small group workshop setting, I can target the specific needs of my students without alienating a certain portion of my class.
I am interested to hear more about your workshop-style approach to teaching. I find it very interesting and would love to see how you incorporate the various learning styles into each workshop. I liked how you showed the connection between math and creativity, because when I first came across it, it did leave me scratching my head a little bit, but your explanation did a great job of making the connection.
I'm Edie - wife, mom, teacher, instructional designer, home renovator,
and lover of nature, travel, technology, and vintage campers!