Yesterday we covered preferred learning styles (among other topics) to better understand learner needs. These learning styles included the Honey and Mumford style (activist, reflector, theorist, pragmatist) the VAK style (auditory, visual, kinaesthetic) and right/left brain learning.
Through group and class discussion we concluded that people tend not to fall into just one category but that they often have traits from more than one category and that looking at just one mode of learning styles does not give a full picture of the learner.
Personally I have always felt that I fall into the ‘theorist’ and ‘pragmatist’ category more than the others as I like to identify goals, and am reluctant to try new things but am very well organised (which fit into the theorist category) yet I like to get on with tasks, find new and effective ways of working and become impatient if I cannot try out and get on with things (which fit into pragmatist category). I also feel I am a mix between an auditory and visual learner as I prefer listening and reading to a more physical approach.
I feel that it would be useful for students to know their learning styles as it should help them when it comes to self-directed study but feel that some learners could take it the other way and find excuses not to do work if it does not fit their preferred style. This could be a challenge to teaching especially if as a teacher you do not work to that style but I feel it would be about trying to adapt as much as possible to incorporate different learning styles and also encourage the learner to do the same.
During yesterdays learning we also covered inclusive learning which I felt as teachers we should strive to be as inclusive as possible and if we do this we should cover a range of traits from the different learning styles, which helps strengthen my thoughts above. Personally for me this would mean more research into making lessons more diverse as I had a very traditional form of learning (teachers giving lectures, students taking notes, some discussions and seminars) and do not naturally think about adding technology and activities to a lesson. As I shadow and progress however I should develop methods and ideas to combat this.
After the class we were asked to complete a short assessment to judge our own learning styles and as I expected it came up with my learning style leaning strongly towards the visual side, what did surprise me however was that the assessment showed I was more kinaesthetic rather than auditory. I found this as a surprise as I never thought that I was as hands on in my learning and feel that it might make me more aware of how I am learning now that I know I am more kinaesthetic than auditory.