Have you ever noticed the way you learn?
I never knew that there were different styles of learning until I got into college, and then suddenly there were these courses about how to organize your workflow and how to do homework, and there was talk of learning styles – really?
This made me question the school system that I grew up in. Not that I hadn’t done so already, along with (it seemed) all of the handful of friends I graduated with; you have to wonder how a class that started at over 300 students was whittled down to a graduating class of 180, the rest being dropouts – subsequent GEDs or not. Did they ignore the whole concept of “learning styles” and thus marginalize the way some students learned? The class environments were traditional to a tee, with the teacher’s desk at the front, the students in a square grid on a square floor and classes were a combination of lecture, quiet work, and homework. There was the occasional skip off the beaten path, and this was a little fun thing to do, not something considered to be a revolutionary teaching method – at least not by the students. We were guided by nth-generation believers.
We must also have been on the cusp of a real revolution; and it fits into the puzzle for me, because it seems like everything happened right as, or right after I graduated. The bevy of old Mac toasters in the corner of the school library was eliminated, and the school built a new computer lab right off the commons the summer after I graduated, complete with Windows PCs powered by Windows 95; the future was now, back then. And I don’t remember at the moment but there were a few more things that occurred where I seemed to say out loud, “and right after I’m gone they do this?” It felt unfair.
What was really unfair was figuring out years later that a possible reason that so many people I knew in high school had dropped out, lost interest, and pretty much flopped at high school was because of the nonexistent emphasis on working with learning styles. I was one who managed to flounder all the way through, after a couple years of struggling with narcolepsy and then nearly giving up, skipping most of the eleventh grade and catching back up in senior year, only to graduate with a quarter credit (from driver’s education, oooh!) over the number of credits required.
To be honest, I couldn’t say whether the school system I grew up in went to learning styles, but I assume so, because it’s a trend in teaching. I don’t mean to say that as in it’s a fad that will fade away; if it’s appropriate to do so, then hopefully the method will remain and become stronger and better understood over time. The idea of teaching to learning styles appeals to me, although in pedagogy classes it looks like a real challenge to diversify a single lesson plan in such a way as to hit all of the learning styles. My real takeaway from learning about learning styles was to learn that I’m a person who learns by doing things, hands-on.
And not to pigeonhole myself, I’m quite strong as a learner to begin with; I’ve always had the ability to catch on fast, do things well, and find ways to hack it and make it better. But I’ve also always had a strong preference to start at the beginning, know what I’m getting into, and to work from start to completion through a single task at a time. Most of all, I prefer to WORK ALONE. I’ve long been working on that one, but I’m such a quiet person it feels better to zone out and focus on the task at hand. I grew up that way, I read and drew pictures a lot, played with building toys – so is it any surprise that I can just zone out and work work work?
I wasn’t even going to answer this prompt, but then I read Rarasaur’s post about drawing circles, and I really enjoyed the narrative about her parents being teachers and teaching their children to discover their learning styles. My response was this: “I actually learned to draw circles by tracing around the edges of quarters and overturned glasses and cups and whatever became a handy guide for me until I had enough dexterity to do them freehand.” And I realized, that’s me. I learn by doing, but moreover I use emulation to learn quicker. That means that I can learn by seeing it done, I can learn by hearing about how you do it (as long as I can take notes because my memory is woo-hoo!) and I can learn by following written instructions, but I learn best by doing it myself with these aids, and with examples from the world I know and trust. Having done it a few times, I then can begin to put my own spin on it. I guess that makes me luckier than some who might be completely closed off to certain avenues of learning, because I could have been one of those 120 high school dropouts from my class if I were not so versatile.
What do you think? Does that sound like a precise learning style to you, or am I just blowing smoke? Let us know in the comments!
This post was prompted by yesterday’s Daily Post prompt.
- Evolution (2) | Photos to inspire you
- My.Vivid.Visions | Daily Prompt: Learning Style – Independent
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- Daily Prompt: Learning Style | The Daily Post | live free or die trying
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- playing together | y
- Daily Prompt: Learning Style « Mama Bear Musings
- How To Learn – How To Teach | The Jittery Goat
- Daily Prompt: KISS – Keep It Simple, Stoopid | Steve Says….
- If You’re Not Learning, Then Exactly What Are You Doing? | meanderedwanderings
- Life is the Best Teacher! | Dreams to Reality !
- Daily Prompt: Learning Style | pkuncewicz
- S. Thomas Summers | The Wisdom of Trolls
- Still Learning | Flowers and Breezes
- I’m a DOER! | Active Army Wife
- What’s the Biggest and Bestest (yes, I know it’s not a word, but it is) Influence in your Life? | An Upturned Soul
- Change Is Good | To Pursue Happiness
- The Lurker’s List | Learning to Cross the River
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- Learning to Fail | 52 Miles per Month
- Colours, Practice, and Discussion! | Joanne Lynn
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- Daily Prompt Challenge – Learning | soletusknow
- We All Want To Go Back to Graduate School
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- Getting your hands dirty | Master Of Disaster
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- Daily Post: Learning Style | Jottings and Writings
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- DAILY PROMPT: LEARNING WITH BISCUITS | SERENDIPITY
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- Daily Prompt: Learning A New Skill | Wise Counsel
- The Daily: Learning Style | Patty Ryan Lee
- The best way to Learn… | The life of T
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- Daily Prompt: Learning style « MARGARET ROSE STRINGER
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- Learn. | Whispered Words
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- Lectures and books | Life is great
- Ryu Teaches More Than The Hadoken | polymathically
- Daily Prompt: Learning Style | Basically Beyond Basic
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- On Love and Maintenance | THE BLACK SPAGHETTI CHRONICLES
- Daily Prompt: Reading, Writing, ‘Rithmetic | One Starving Activist
- Rewriting the Story | Wiley’s Wisdom
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- Chop it up | Computer Blue
- Daily Prompt: Learning Style | Nola Roots, Texas Heart
- You Feel Me? | A.C. Melody
- More than One Way to Draw a Circle | rarasaur
- 8th December : Daily Prompt: Learning Style | Family, Photos, Food & Craft
- Learning Time | tuckedintoacorner
- Triangles | theclocktowersunset