Individual Learning Styles
Broadly speaking, we develop our skills through a mix of group learning and individual learning. Group learning takes effect through the interaction we have with others, and in the instances of kids, it mostly occurs in the School's environment. With group learning kids develop social skills such as team work, friendship, leadership, obedience to social rules, understanding of limits, etc. Individual learning, on the other hand, helps to develop self-sufficiency, autonomy, self-confidence. To succeed in life, kids need both type of learning. Most of the learning gaps observed in students are brought about by their individual learning styles not being properly satisfied by the Classroom based learning, which understandably is mostly geared up for group learning.
How many ways are there to learn about a subject? According to the latest findings by several leading psychologists, there are seven specific types of learning styles. This means that in order to maximize learning advantages, you must define the type of learner that you have, and cater the lesson to that particular learning style. For example, if your child is primarily a linguistic learner, you could incorporate several novels into your curriculum. You could encourage short stories to explain scientific developments, or allow the student to rewrite a difficult math problem into a story problem. If he/she is primarily logical, you will want to emphasize charts, tables, and diagrams. Venn diagrams work well with a logical learner.
Read each description below to determine which style best describes your student. Remember that it is possible to have more than one style of learning, particularly in the intrapersonal and interpersonal categories (numbers six and seven), which have traditionally been interpreted as personality types.
This type of learner loves to read, write, and tell stories. They tend to memorize places, dates, names, and trivia very easily, and are always mesmerizing you with their incredible tales. They have a remarkable ability to repeat back everything you have ever told them, word for word. Encourage their creativity, and do your best to distinguish between the truth and exaggeration (it is all well intended). These students learn best by saying, hearing, and seeing words. Ask them to write down a word or a phrase, and it is forever locked into their memory. Encourage them to participate in spelling bees and creative writing courses. You could have another Shakespeare on your hands!
This child is very mathematically inclined. They enjoy solving problems, particularly if they are math related. They are similar to Dr. Spock, on Star Trek, in that they are very logical, straight-forward types of learners. They will plague you with questions on how things work, how things relate to one another, and why things are here. Their favorite toys as young children were likely building blocks, and pattern puzzles. Answer their ongoing questions with as much patience as you can muster, and know that one day they may likely become an engineer. This type of student learns best by categorizing, classifying, and working with abstract patterns or relationships. Ask them to make a chart or to show relationships between different items. For example, "What kind of effect does the El Nino have on the stock market?". They will not only come up with an answer, but they will be able to explain the process and developmental stages of the relationship.
These are the visualizers. They spend most of the day dreaming, watching movies, and staying as far away from reality as possible. If they seem particularly "down", asking them to draw a picture will get you much further into the nature of the problem, than asking them to tell you about it. Allow them to develop their senses and their natural artistic abilities. They are very good at working with colors and pictures, and using the "mind's eye". Allow them to play a couple of educational computer games, such as Civilization or the Oregon Trail, or to daydream under a tree. They could be hard at work thinking about a particular problem, but have yet to put it on paper. These types of learners are very artistic, although they often have problems expressing it. Encourage any type of creative endeavor. They may become the next developer of an international theme park.