How Does Your Child Learn? | Understanding the nuances of Learning Styles

by Queenie on June 3, 2010

Image of QueenieWhat exactly is a learning style?

A learning style is a preferred way of “thinking,processing and understanding information”

Did you know that “75 percent of teachers are sequential, analytic, presenters;and 70 percent of all their students do not learn BEST in this way?”

Knowledge is not always learned in a linear, sequential format, at times it is learned in a random or holistic approach. This can be in a concrete random exploration, concrete sequential or abstract random and or an abstract sequential exploration.

Does my child only have one learning style?

Saying that your child has only one learning style would be undermining the complexity of the human brain. The human mind can and does process information in multiple ways. At times using one learning style will be much more meaningful than others. For example, If you are learning spanish, you would much rather hear it. Using auditory strategies will help to distinguish the sounds. But, if you are learning about animals the preferred learning style would be to use visual strategies such as pictures, graphs, video clips and the like to capture the essence in the differences and similarities of animals.

How do people learn?

There are many theories of learning- we at Tandem Teaching believe in a constructivist approach. This means that we believe that students construct knowledge of make meaning out of information and draw conclusions about the importance, order and use of that information.

Learning is contingent upon several factors:

1. Context- The context catalpults the learner into the subject at hand. if the context has no meaning for the student the importance of the subject matter can and will get lost for the student.

2. Input- Input is gathered from the five senses and can either be derived internally (from an outside source) or externally (created in ones own mind)

3. Processing- Once we receive data, how we input that data is called “processing.”

4. Response Filters – After a learner takes in information the minds response filters will influence what is done with the information. The 4-Mat system deals with this aspect of learning. It takes into consideration time, risks, and internal and external reference points.

Remember: The “learning style” that we use at any given time is solely dependent upon circumstances and our survival needs. Learning styles can also be influenced or reinforced greatly by our culture.

Queenie Lindsey is an academic coach and educational consultant. She is the founder of Tandem Teaching and Distinguished Learning Group, an academic coaching firm. Follow her on Twitter.

{ 1 comment }

JenO June 5, 2010 at 1:23 am

This is really interesting. My daughter is not yet 20 months but this discussion can already be applied to her. It makes me realize that when I am teaching her something I need it to be relevant to her life, not just for knowledge sake.