o you know clearly how your children learn? , or what is the best way for you to learn? Well, it turns out that it is essential to know what our learning styles are in order to be able to help our children and ourselves, not only in carrying out school work, but in facing any learning opportunity in order to maximize it. Being knowledgeable about the way our children and we learn, is the way to reduce stress and frustration during the process of learning and performing homework and performing any task.
It is important that we remember that “teaching is an offering and a giving, but learning is not just a taking. “True learning occurs only where the grasp of what one already has is a self-giving, and is experienced as such.” The same author also says, (Salas 2008, pg. 13, citing Heidegger in Guild and Garger, 1988), that this way of experimenting, of making the knowledge part of the new “luggage” of the student, is only achieved when we clearly identify “those peculiar modes of personality that affect learning” which are called “learning styles” (Salas, 2008, pg14).
Each of us has an specific style or characteristic way in each of our performances. They range from the way we talk, or how we walk , to the way we learn, in fact “those peculiar modes of
personality do affect learning,” and those are the ones that we we call them styles of learning ”(Salas, 2008, pg14).
One of the classification models that I find very practical for parents and teachers, is the Felder and Silverman Learning Style Model. These authors classify the styles into phases and dimensions, understanding the phases as the processes through which human beings go through while learning. These processes are clasified as: perception, reception, organization, processing, understanding. Finally the dimensions, understanding those as the combination of strengths in order to achieve learning. They are:
sensitive-intuitive, visual-verbal, inductive-deductive, active-reflective and sequential-global.
According to the author each of the classifications responds to the following questions:
What kind of information does the student perceive preferentially: sensory or intuitive ?, which is equivalent to sensitive and intuitive learners, where sight, sounds and physical sensations belong to the sensory and memories, ideas or invisions belong to the sensory.
By what modality the sensory information is perceived more effectively: visual or verbal?, Which is equivalent to visual and verbal learners, where the visual would be pictures, diagrams, graphs and the verbal would be sounds, written or spoken words and formulas.
How does the student prefer to process the information: actively or reflexively?, Which is equivalent to active and reflexive learners, where the active ones prefer a physical activity or a discussion and the reflective ones the introspection.
How does the student progress in understanding: sequentially or globally? which is equivalent to sequential and global learners, where the sequential goes from stage to stage and the global one covers everything in a general way.
What type of information organization does the student feel most comfortable with: inductive or deductive? which is equivalent to inductive and deductive learners, where the inductive prefers to observe the facts and the deductive deduct the consequences and make applications of them. (Salas, 2008, pp. 52-53-70).
To conclude, the interesting thing about these categories is that thanks to their practicality , we can ask and help ourselves and our children because when we discover their way of learning our interactions as parents, teachers and mentors become more enriching and fun. Are you ready to discover and enhance your learning style or that of your children? Let’s do it!!!!!