What type of learner are you? A question I frequently ask my students. Maybe you’re an ‘auditory’ learner? Or perhaps a ‘visual’ or ‘tactile’ learner? Why is it important to know the answer to this? It’s because we all construct learning in a different way based on our life experiences. There is a unique set of learning habits associated with each learning style; the better awareness we have of our learning style, the more efficient a learner we can become.
As learners we constantly try to draw connections between what we are learning and what we already know. This is how we expand our knowledge base. We all then adopt learning strategies that best suit our learning style. Sometimes this selection of learning strategies is a very unconscious process, but just like we may have a preference for a flavour of ice cream, so to do we have a preference in the way we prefer to learn. For example, we may like it when we work in small groups much like we like the flavour of strawberry ice cream or we may dislike it when we are asked to give an oral presentation much like we dislike licorice flavoured ice cream. Making sure that the learning task matches the learning styles of our students is a challenge we teachers face on a daily basis.
This year at IFTS there have been some significant improvements in both the layout of our learning spaces and the style of academic delivery that has allowed us as teachers to better cater to all types of learners in our classrooms. You will have noticed break out spaces, study nooks and explicit instruction areas in the learning spaces and our students across upper primary school and high school now talk about their academics in terms of ‘episodes’ and ‘activity numbers’. This streaming of academic delivery has received positive feedback from our students and has allowed them to take control of their learning and manage their time efficiently in the variety of classroom spaces. It is more student centered and less teacher focused allowing for independent learners to quench their thirst for knowledge.
Although it has not been without its challenges for staff, as at any given time we are managing students spread over multiple stages throughout the project, these challenges provide benefits by allowing us to build in choices of activities that cater for all learning preferences. It has been a great trial process for us as staff to let the reins go and enjoy where the ride takes our students, so to speak.
So let me come back to learning styles. Want to be the most efficient learner you can be? Then find out which type of learner you are? Take an online quiz at the following link. You may be surprised with what you didn’t know about yourself as a learner. Try quiz/test 1, 2 and 3 on the same site to give you some clarity.
Were you a visual learner? Follow this link to read more about your learning preferences. http://www.whatismylearningstyle.com/visual-learner.html
Were you an auditory learner? Follow this link to read more about your learning preferences. http://www.whatismylearningstyle.com/auditory-learner.html
Were you a tactile or kinesthetic learner? Follow this link to read more about your learning preferences. http://www.whatismylearningstyle.com/tactile-kinesthetic-learner.html