Learning and Teaching Styles

Wk. 2 Learning and Teaching Styles “In almost every actual well-designed study, Mr. Pashler and his colleagues write in their paper, ‘Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence,’ the pattern is similar: For a given lesson, one instructional technique turns out to be optimal for all groups of students, even though students with certain learning styles may not love that technique. ” (2009) I wanted to start this paper with this quote since it did involve some sort of evidence that teaching in one style still works.

Students can and do succeed and have received equal scores as their peers whose learning styles matched the teachers methods of teaching. I do believe however that students may not catch on as fast and lose interest easier when being taught material. This is why I would still use different methods of teaching versus just one. As a visual learner, I understand how difficult it can be to orally receive directions for an assignment or other activity. I thrive on written directions and learning materials that need to be read or are graphed.

I often had to ask the teacher numerous times to repeat the directions because I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. This put me behind and my grades occasionally suffered as a result. As a past teacher who worked in a school that believed in teaching using the multiple intelligences method, I found great joy in seeing my students succeed. As teachers, we were required to hand in our lesson plans weekly to the principal. Our lesson plans had to involve each of the intelligences. This was my first real job as a teacher and I did not completely understand why we were required to do this and not use our own personal methods.

Looking back, I am so grateful that I learned and saw first hand the consequences of teaching using the multiple intelligences. I enjoyed seeing my student’s motivation rise as their type of learning was focused on for a particular lesson. When I go back to teaching, I will with no doubt in my mind, use this method again. It completely fits with my style of teaching most likely because it was my first real experience and works even for those students who have a completely different learning style than I do. In an ESL classroom, “dividing a lesson into phases” (Palmberg) to make sure I use each of the intelligences is ideal.

I firmly believe that this method works no matter how different a student’s learning style is from the teacher. In a sample lesson for example, I would explain the topic (i. e. vocabulary words on food items) and give the students an overview of what they will need to do and what they are expected to learn. I would read them a story relating to food or going shopping. Next I would have them write down their own list of items that their families normally buy often for a real-life experience. The next phase is to divide the class into groups and share each other’s lists.

They would also discuss what their ideal list and store layout would be like if they could buy any type of food that they wanted from their ideal grocery store. They would then move on to thinking about a song or songs that is about food. We would play that song the following day. For the students who feel comfortable, creating their own body expressions describing food would be next and sharing these movements with the rest of the class. This exercise could be turned into a fun lesson where the rest of the class would have to guess which food item is being emphasized (like charades).

We would next come up with a class list of favorite food items. There would more than likely be some disagreement so I would divide them up in half asking them to have a debate based on reasonable food limits and favorites to come up with an ideal list. We would do the same thing for the ideal store layout. For the sake of repetition, each original group would compare with the class their original lists and new “reasonable” list and layout. I believe this lesson would take a few days but involves most if not all intelligences.

Being a visual learner, I can benefit from the students who are different from me as much as they benefit from me and the lessons I teach them using the different intelligences. For example, as I try and improve my weaknesses in some forms of learning, I can benefit from the students who learn better in a completely different way (say kinesthetic). They will get much benefit from the part of the lesson that involves movement and I will get the same benefit seeing how they react and learn to this part of the lesson.

To make things fun for the students (and me) those willing could come up with their own way of teaching each other about a certain topic. I would of course give them the general rules and guidelines and they would do the rest. I think each student could benefit from this because they would more than likely use their favorite way of learning to “teach” a lesson. For those who do not want to do this, they could also benefit from this since it is an exercise that is not ordinarily done and will hold interest longer.

I am not a teacher and never have been one who forces students to do something that makes them feel uncomfortable (i. e. standing up and doing a charade). I think that this will do more harm than good. The student may back off and not participate or be eager to learn for fear that they may be picked on by their peers or even the teacher. I had this experience in middle school and know how it feels. I began to pull myself away from the class and especially the teacher. As a result, I did poorly in the class. For these types of students, a more gentle approach is necessary.

The teacher may ask this type of student to write an explanation of what they would do or simply tell the teacher what they would do for an assignment. This is why I am such a believer of the multiple intelligences method. It involves all students and doesn’t single out particular ones. Everyone benefits and everyone learns based on their own learning strengths. Another less popular/obvious benefit of this teaching method is related to the impact that the students learning has on their own family and home life.

I think that because a student is more eager to learn as a result of the multiple intelligences method, they will carry their positive attitude into their home life and be more compliant towards their family and of course themselves. As we all know, a student’s home life reflects their attitudes and success in school. References: chronicle. com/article/Matching-Teaching-Style-to/49497/ www. sube. com/… /integrating_learning_styles_and_skills_in_e… www. tecweb. org/styles/gardner. html www. tefl. net/esl-lesson-plans/multiple-intelligences. htm Gardner, Howard. 1993. Multiple intelligences. The theory in practice. New York: Basic Books.