- classroom computers
- hand-held access to a global network of knowledge
- cooperative learning
- learning according to your individual style.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
The Creative Learning offices will be closed from 23 December 2010 till 10 January 2011. We will be checking emails periodically.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Whether you believe in Santa Claus or not, here is a fun puzzle for you: what do you think Santa’s Learning Style might be?
Let’s figure it out together.
First of all, Santa must have an amazing memory. Imagine remembering the Christmas wish list of every child in the world! Most of the letters to Santa come as text or pictures, so he has to be good at visual input! But you can also whisper your wish to him in the local supermarket, so his auditory memory should be pretty awesome, too!
Now consider all the toys Santa
makes through the year: that’s a job for a tactile person. But, but, but he also travels the world - by sleigh or surfboard or bike - to deliver presents. He must be kinesthetic!
He works well alone or in a group of elves. His preference is to get the bulk of the chores done at night, especially if you remember to leave milk and
cookies (intake) for him. He is very responsible and never fails to give you a present.
What other Learning Style elements can you th
ink of? Go on, have a try.
Do you know your own Learning Style?
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Your Learning Style is important not only for school. The sport you play, the people relationships you have and the type of job you choose all depend on the preferences and non-preferences of your Learning Style. When talking about your unique style at work, we usually refer to that set of preferences and non-preferences as your Working Style.
Some elements of your Working Style have no bearing whatsoever on the career path you choose. Others are of paramount importance. It all depends on the job. Because the Pike River Mine disaster is still very much in the news, I can’t stop thinking about all the people involved and their Working Style profiles:
- Miners usually display a preference for teamwork, routine and kinesthetic learning.
- Rescue workers exhibit a preference for working style elements such as variety, responsibility and high perseverance.
- Security inspectors need to be analytic as well as holistic thinkers, with a reflective decision making style.
- Crisis managers often have to be comfortable making quick decisions, so their style should be impulsive rather than reflective. Their information processing should be a good balance of analytic and holistic thinking.
- If your job calls for working nightshifts, it’s a good idea to have a working style preference for concentrating in the evening hours.
Of course, some personality traits, such as bravery and compassion, cannot be classified using the Working Style Pyramid. And that’s as it should be. People are unique blends of their Working Styles, personalities and souls.
(For more information on determining your Working Style, have a look here.)
Thursday, November 25, 2010
New Zealand and Australia are in mourning following the tragedy in the Pike River coal mine, in which 29 brave men have lost their lives. We at Creative Learning join in condolences for the victims' families and friends. For almost a week, we prayed for a miracle, encouraged by the uplifting story of the Chilean gold miners. Sadly, the conditions in the two mines were vastly different and the finality of the second explosion at Pike River ended our hopes.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
- you read newspapers and watch TV on your computer...
- ... in fact, a few months ago you witness the rescue of 34 Chilean miners from 700m below the ground....
- you talk your friends and family across the oceans via a personal computer...
- ... or via a phone you carry around in the street....
- Integrated with a tendency towards holistic
- With a preference for change
- High perseverance
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Adult literacy is an emerging issue in highly developed countries, one that will have to be addressed within the next few decades. Although most school-leavers can read and write, and can figure out 15+24 without the aid of a calculator, their education had failed them nevertheless.
Thursday, November 04, 2010
... and yet the face of the bully remained the same.
With the Anti-Bullying Week upon us (15-19 November 2010), many people make a point to speak out against the problem. This is fantastic. Four in every five pupils are not involved in bullying incidents, i.e., they are neither the bully not the victim, yet they seldom have the opportunity to do something constructive.
- through a physical act,
- with shouting, intimidating gestures, pulling mean faces,
- by saying hurtful things about them,
Thursday, October 28, 2010
- Tactile learners love plastic counting beans - they are colourful and smooth and a pleasure to touch.
- You can also use coins, board game tokens, dry beans, M&Ms, raisins... anything with an interesting texture.
- Board games are good for tactile learners. Try Snakes&Ladders played with two dice to practice addition.
- Cuisenaire Rods are a great visual as well as a tactile learning tool.
- Create your own Bingo board game where you read out a multiplication problem (3 times 4, or "John has 5 rows of 5 marbles, how many marbles does he have") and your child covers the answer on his Bingo Board.
- Tactile people prefer writing, sculpting or carving the answers. Allow your child to write them in glue and pour sand onto the wet glue to make the grains stick. He can shape them from play-dough. You can find him an old piece of soft wood (a plank) and let him carve in the answers with his pen (remember the old days when "naughty" children wrote on their desks? it feels sooo good to sink your pen into soft wood!!!)
- Tactile learners love computer games. Computer games are both a blessing (educational games really do aid education) and a curse (they are addictive), so it's your choice whether you'd allow it, but have a look at http://www.mathletics.co.nz/ and http://www.coolmath-games.com/.
- For other hand-on maths tools, please see http://www.ehow.com/math-manipulatives/.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
THE GREAT SALESPERSON—A LISTENER
We often think of a great salesperson as a spin artist—a big talker—never at a loss for words and blessed with the gift of gab. Well in today’s world of business sales, that is no longer true. In fact, the best salesperson may be the best listener, not the best talker!
So the learning styles that used to be associated with sales success are no longer the most appropriate. And that opens up a lot of space for thoughtful people, quiet people, those who like to deal with facts and process information in chunks rather than those who get the big picture quickly and run with it.
If you are a quiet, thoughtful person and you are in sales, or interested in sales, there are many ways to cultivate your gifts. The best of these is to learn how to ask great questions.
If you are going to make sales by listening to your prospective customers, empathizing with them, understand their needs and the problems they are trying to solve, you will need to have expert ways to help them tell you the things that you want to listen for. That means you will need to be prepared with a steady stream of pertinent, probing questions that are not offensive and that invite a rich conversation between you and your prospect.
Here are some characteristics of great questions:
· They are open-ended. They invite discussion and commentary, not a one-word answer.
· They are circumspect. Maybe you want to know if the person you’re speaking with is the ultimate decision maker. But in a big company, multiple people are involved in the decision. So you can ask, “Who else will be affected by your decision?”
· They are historical. Great questions ask someone to talk about how they did it last time, or another time, so that you get a factual account that is predictive of future behavior.
· They are narrative. They invite someone to tell you a story, to get involved, to get engaged with you.
Great listeners are not listening for what they hope to hear. Rather, they are listening to the truth as understand by the person or people with whom they are conversing. If the truth is there’s no budget, we’re not going to make a change at this time, I don’t have time to think about that right now, or if we did make a change it would probably not be with you—wouldn’t you rather know that sooner than later? You can have one conversation and gracefully exit until a better time.
Big talkers are going to miss many key signals early in the sales process, causing them to pursue fruitless deals far too long. On the other hand, good listeners will be in tune with the real circumstances early on.
So let’s re-think our notions of the “salesperson learning style.”
If you are in sales or interested in sales, I invite you to join The Whale Hunters online community, Pier9, (http://www.thewhalehunters.com) where you will find a wealth of resources for sales and business development, including many resources about how to ask great questions.
Barbara Weaver Smith
The Whale Hunters is a strategic sales coaching company that helps small businesses achieve explosive growth by landing bigger deals with bigger customers. Our business development process has consistently helped hundreds of companies create a repeatable, disciplined sales culture that optimizes the company’s ability to land and harvest whale-sized accounts in any economic climate.Small business is the best way to reinvigorate the American economy. Barbara Weaver Smith, founder of The Whale Hunters, shares a lot of information of benefit to business people who want to grow their business. The question is how can small businesses grow at a rate that will show results sooner rather than later? That’s where The Whale Hunters comes in – and we invite you to register for a free account which gives you access to the wealth of information on the new expanded Whale Hunters website– http://www.thewhalehunters.com
Thursday, October 14, 2010
As we mentioned before, habitual smoking and learning styles go hand in hand. One of the greatest predictors of whether a person will become a smoker is their preference in the Intake and Tactile elements of the LSA Pyramid (Learning Style Analysis Pyramid).
However, Malcolm Gladwell mentions other elements in his bestselling book, "The Tipping Point". Backed by British psychology research, he identifies the following traits of quintessential hard-core smokers:
- is sociable, likes parties (and therefore probably has a Learning Style with a preference for learning within a group)
- needs to have people to talk to (probably has a Learning Style with a preference for External Auditory Input)
- takes chances and acts on the spur of the moment (a preference for Impulsive Thinking)
- prefers to keep moving (a preference for Mobility)
- and doing things (a preference for Kinesthetic Input)
- not always a reliable person (a non-preference for Reliability).
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Friday, October 01, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
(excerpt from The Power of Diversity by Barbara Prashnig)
Fallacy 6: Eating should not be permitted in classrooms during lessons.
Many students concentrate better when they can concentrate better when have something to eat, nibble, chew or drink while learning, and many teachers will have observed that a number of students chew on whatever they can get hold of during classes, particularly when they have to listen for a while, when they are bored or nervous. It seems that mouth stimulation helps them concentrate, and as the brain dehydrates during thinking processes, it is essential that students are allowed to have drinks of water whenever needed.
Students with a high need for intake should be allowed to have healthy snacks, and with good management techniques there will be no mess in class. Thousands of teachers who have successfully introduced a ‘healthy nibbles policy’ are proof that it works, and discipline, together with student performance, improves significantly.
Fallacy 7: Effective teaching requires clearly stated objectives followed by detailed, step-by-step, sequential explanations until students understand what’s being taught.
While holistic, right-brain dominant learners tend to grasp large concepts first and then deal with the related facts and details, analytic, left-brain dominant learners pay attention to the facts first and use them for building up the whole concept. Only these are the ones who work well with step-by-step teaching. Many, probably most, teachers use analytic styles and a few teach only holistically, using a lot of creativity. Every teacher should (and successful teachers always do) include elements of both styles in their teaching.
("The New Look of Learning and Teaching", excerpt from The Power of Diversity by Barbara Prashnig)
Wondering what the learning needs are in your classroom? Start here.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand recognises that the left and right brain hemispheres of a person with dyslexia are wired differently to those in a non-dyslexic:
Dyslexics tend to be top-down rather than bottom-up thinkers. This means that their Learning Style is holistic, in other words, they learn from getting the big picture or the overall idea first, and then look at the details.
- higher level conceptualisation
- high learning capacity
- exceptional empathy
- excellence in highly specialised areas
- "out-of-the-box thinking” which leads to new insights.
Ultimately, dyslexia can be characterised as a learning preference – based on individuals preferring to receive, process and present information in ways that make more sense to the dyslexic-wired brain, such as tactile, kinesthetic or video rather than through written or spoke words. (Please note that the preferences alone are not enough to diagnose dyslexia, as you may find many holistic tactile learners who are not dyslexic.)
Is it possible that your child's Learning Style displays dyslexic preferences? Find out today.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
- the time of team meetings
- where each person's desk is positioned relative to the aircon, windows and traffic flow
- the nature of tasks
- the number of tasks
- they way in which the tasks are given (written, oral, point form, etc.)
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Let’s consider formal education and ask a few formal education questions:
- How many thousands of hours do students sit in classrooms experiencing lectures or lectures, deadly boring activities which bore them to death, which stifle activities their curiosity, and their spontaneously emerging interest?
- What happens when a child experiences uncertainty about details of the presentation?
- How many hundreds of hours do they spend reading books?
- And again, what can students do when they encounter something they do not understand or evokes their curiosity? Will they raise their hands and ask?
Only those who are not easily intimidated. The majority of students, however, learn to ignore all but their most powerful urges. Slowly but surely their experiences at school result in a deadening of school experiences kill their inner sensitivity.
Unlike the way children learn informally before and outside school, the entire educational system discourages them from ‘tuning’ into their own inner learning processes. They become conditioned to disregard their own meaning, their learning needs, disregard their (learning) style and individuality in favour of acquiring machine-like behaviours and uniform outcomes uniform outcomes favoured by the system and those who represent it.
Consider the following: before children go into children learn by formal education, they learn miraculously by developing an inner sensitivity for their learning processes which is their day-to-day experience for years. When they go to school, in the process at school of being taught various subjects, the message they receive now is: what goes on inside your head is meaningless, pay attention and do as we tell you!
This whole dilemma has nothing to do with teachers’ intentions; this is not the issue. The problem is not WHAT is being taught but HOW it is done. The formal environment and traditional teaching methods continually discourage children from remaining sensitive to their own most essential capacities for learning. It’s the overall education experience education experience which turns, almost as a rule, highly energised, turns curious, eager and alive children into mainly tired, alive children into uninterested, uneasy, bored and frustrated students.
This is true for schools in every country I have visited so far, from Finland to Hong Kong, from New Zealand to Sweden, from the US to Denmark. And what’s even more alarming, this unfortunate development can be seen everywhere - despite the school, the teacher, even the socioeconomic family status of the student.
(excerpt from The Power of Diversity by Barbara Prashnig)
Wondering how to put it right? Start here.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
We all know that every individual has his or her unique style of learning, be it using visual props, listening to a tape recorder or pacing up and down the room. However, while working extensively with Learning Styles, Barbara realised that the same is true of those who teach: every educator will have their own special Teaching Style.
A Teaching Style is the way in which the educator communicates his or her knowledge to the students and delivers the curriculum.
But do styles of teaching really vary so much? When we think back to our school days, some teachers were better than others, yet they all used the blackboard or the overhead projector. It was all pretty much the same, wasn't it?
Yes, most teachers use the blackboard – or now the whiteboard - even if they themselves are not visually inclined. And most teachers will expect pupils to sit still in their desks. Still, in her research, Barbara discovered that the personal learning style of a teacher will always influence the way they teach, the way they interact with their students and the way they shape expectations of their students’ performance.
For example, if the teacher enjoys making study aids, they will bring those to the classroom, and they will probably give their students lots of hands-on projects to do, like building a model of the water molecule. If the teacher learns kinesthetically, they will probably deliver the lesson in a much more lively style, moving about the room and involving students in physical activities.
There are many benefits to knowing your Teaching Style.
Every teaching Style is unique. What is yours? Have a look.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
It’s the end of another long day. Your head is pounding, your teeth are clamped and there are a thousand and one knots in your shoulders, each with a different story of obstacles you had to overcome today.
Stressed? You bet. Teaching is a wonderful and worthy profession, but unfortunately stress is the price you have to pay for it.
Or is it?
Research shows that stress is caused - in part - by our work environment as well as by the way in which we approach our tasks.
For example, if your natural inclination is to work in a darker area with soft lighting, it is incredibly stressful to have to function in a brightly lit classroom. You may not even realise it, but every time you walk into that dazzling room with its blinding fluorescent tubes, your blood pressure begins to climb: up, up, up and up, all the way to the dangerous limit.
Similarly, if you prefer to work in a relatively quiet environment, a noisy classroom will contribute to your stress levels. If you are tidy, it’s annoying having to work in a chaotic environment. If you don’t enjoy teamwork... you get the idea.So what can you do about it? The first step is to become aware of all the factors that contribute to your unique Working Style. Would you believe it, there are more than 40 such factors, and if just a few of them are impeded, stress is sure to follow? To find out about your Working Style and what to do about reducing your stress levels, please click here.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
- learning with peers
- kinesthetic input
- external motivation
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."
The old woman smiled. "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
- whether they are visual, auditory, tactile or kinaesthetic,
- whether they have a need for silence, bright light or an informal work area,
- what time of day they like to learn.
Please see the pyramid for more information.
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