By Michael HartleyHere's part 2 of a great three-part article on home schooling and learning styles. What Pamela Connolly says here actually applies in any educational context. If you haven't read Part 1 yet, it's right here. Used with permission.
Learning Styles and the Home Schooler - Part II of IIICreate the best learning environment for your child.
In addition to receiving and processing information, learning is affected by how the child responds to the organization of the material. Consider these four basic types. (Remember it is not a box to keep your child in...these are cues to keep in mind when you create and teach lessons.)
CONCRETE/SEQUENTIAL ... These Students:
- Apply ideas in a practical way and focus on facts.
- Work well within limits and produce concrete products from abstract ideas.
- Like to work systematically (step-by-step) and pay close attention to details.
- Want a schedule to follow that makes sense to them.
- Want to know what is expected of them.
- Like establishing routines and methods of doing things.
- Do not like working in groups.
- Ask when they are learning are: What are the facts I Need? How do I do this? What should it look like? When is it due?
These children deal well with strict guidelines that are clear and unwavering. They are highly systematic and function well with clearly defines steps. Stress individual projects with clearly spelled out goals.
ABSTRACT/SEQUENTIAL ... These Students:
- Are always looking for the underlying principles.
- Like to analyze ideas, research, and provide logical sequence.
- Want to use exact, well researched information and logical reasoning.
- Learn by watching, than by doing.
- Want to have sufficient time to deal with the project thoroughly.
- Want black and white...right and wrong answers.
- Are not diplomatic and like to monopolize a conversation.
- Want to know:
How do I know this is true? Have we considered all the possibilities?
These students want clearly defined goals but can use their imagination to find the steps to achieve the goals. They tend to over-analyze and may get trapped in minutia. They are willing to create their own methodology. They want a clear answer to problems, and want to prove them.
ABSTRACT/RANDOM ... This student:
- Is always looking for the personal relevance as they listen.
- Seek to understand feeling and emotions of people.
- Focus on the emotional needs of others and seek to bring harmony to group situations.
- Want to personalize their learning and focus on the broad general principles.
- Need to maintain friendly relationships with everyone.
- Decide with their hearts not their heads.
- Find it difficult to explain or justify their ideas.
- Avoid exact details and resent any criticism.
- Find it impossible to focus on one thing at a time.
- Ask: What does this have to do with me? How can I make a difference?
These students evaluate ideas on a personal and emotional basis. They are social but don't like to get bogged down in minutia. They go for the big picture, and get frustrated when forced to learn concrete facts.
CONCRETE/RANDOM ......These students
- Think fast on their feet.
- See many options and solutions to things.
- Want a compelling reason for doing something and find different ways to do them.
- Rely on instinct and insight.
- Want general frames rather specific details.
- Do not like restrictions, limitations, formal reports, routines, re-doing things, keeping detailed records or explaining how they got an answer.
- Ask - How much is really necessary?
This student is all over the place. They are a mass of creativity and imagination. They are problem solvers and want to discover how to do things themselves.
These characteristics give you an idea as to what your child does after he/she has received the material. Focus their lessons while taking their organizational mind-set into consideration. Don't have your Abstract/Random learner write a report on the digestive system...have them make a clay diagram of the digestive system and tell you how everything works...get my drift.
You have the knowledge and the power ... Now go out and create the best learning environment for your individual child!
Pam Connolly is a professional educator with the San Diego School District. She has been teaching kids how to type for over 11 years. To teach your child typing, visit http://www.1stoplearntotype.com . To improve your child's memory, visit http://www.1stopezmemory.com
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