Thursday, December 30, 2010

Welcome, 2011!

2011 is around the corner. If possible, it sounds even more futuristic than 1999 or 2010. Although we're not popping eggs-and-ham pills for breakfast or jetting around in our jetpacks, the future is here. Firmly. Steadfastly. Absolutely.

One thing last century's science fiction writers got right, is the school of the future:
  • classroom computers
  • hand-held access to a global network of knowledge
  • e-learning
  • cooperative learning
  • learning according to your individual style.
From Creative Learning, we have one more thing to add:

Happy New Year, everybody!

(Our office will reopen on 10 January 2011.)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Season's Greetings

The Creative Learning offices will be closed from 23 December 2010 till 10 January 2011. We will be checking emails periodically.

May this Holiday Season be whatever you've dreamed of: peaceful or wild, with too much or too little sleep, with snow or hot sun. Here's wishing you a tremendous 2011!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Secrets of successful teaching: flexibility and matching styles

(excerpt from "The Power of Diversity" by Barbara Prashnig)

1. Matching students’ learning styles with the appropriate teaching styles will always lead to successful interaction between teachers and their students, and result in improved learning outcomes as we have seen in this chapter.

2. High flexibility for achieving genuine style matches is maybe more important, and teachers need to be confident in choosing their methods and strategies, and must be prepared to try something else when the usual methods don’t work. This ‘something else’ should not be trial and error, but based on a sound knowledge of students’ learning style needs. But isn’t that what teachers are supposed to do anyway, you might ask. Supposed maybe, but very few teachers are actually flexible enough to change their methods according to their students’ learning needs because most teachers have a very limited repertoire of teaching methods - remember, they have all been trained by the same analytical system - and when the few well-known strategies don’t work, they are soon at their wits’ end, blaming everyone and everything else for their students’ failure and finally give up on them.

Another reason for this unfortunate situation is the fact (again based on research findings and our own

experiences in data collection) that teachers are among the least flexible people of all professional groups. The majority have very strong preferences based on analytic, left-brain dominance, paired with very strong beliefs about what’s right and wrong in learning. They find it very hard to flex and adjust, prefer to stay with what they know, even when this knowledge is outdated, and generally resist change.

(...) It is quite obvious that educators need to become more flexible, and teachers who are now working

with learning styles realise that it is they who have to be the most flexible person in class. Highly flexible people usually get on well with others and you probably remember one or the other teacher who was well-liked by everyone, who always found a way to get on with others and were a great inspiration for the young ones.

(Purchase link: "The Power of Diversity" by Barbara Prashnig)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Santa Claus and his Learning Style

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

Jobs, Career Choice and Learning Styles

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

National Disaster - Flags at Half Mast

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

Learning Styles of Creative Minds

If you went back in time to, say, 30 years ago, and tried to tell people that:
  • 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....
If you said:
  • you talk your friends and family across the oceans via a personal computer...
  • ... or via a phone you carry around in the street....
If you told them you watched the latest soccer World Cup live at the cinema in 3D, have an opinion on cloning and genetically modified foodstuffs, that night-time lenses can correct myopia and you can fit an entire library into your pocket...

... then people would call you very creative indeed. Creative with the truth, that is. And yet, this is precisely the weird and wonderful world we live in.

It takes a creative mind to imagine things that don't exist yet. What Learning Style would you expect such a creative person to have?

  • Integrated with a tendency towards holistic
  • Non-conforming
  • With a preference for change
  • Multi-sensory
  • High perseverance
How creative are you? Find out what your Learning Style is.

Picasso put it best: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when you grow up."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The 3 Levels of Literacy

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.

Workplaces have encountered a huge gap in the adult work literacy arena. Employees are unable to follow written instructions, estimate measurements or use computers for anything other than games. And yet, in today's workplace, we are expected to think critically, create procedures and possess elementary IT skills.

Many adults can read a newspaper yet cannot read a technical document such as a safety manual. Also, because of the global-village syndrome, many production lines employ people from diverse cultures, whose schooling system did not focus on what we see as core skills, or whose home language is different from the language spoken at the factory.

All these aspects make Working Style Analysis (WSA) an absolute must-have tool for any employer. (Please note that if language or reading skills are a challenge, you may require a translator to ensure accuracy of the analysis. You may also use the LSA Mini tool, which caters towards English-As-A-Second-Language adults.)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Learning Style of a Bully

Bullying is a problem in schools worldwide. Whether it has grown since our own schooldays, or is simply only now receiving the attention it deserves, is still being debated. One thing is clear, however: 20 years ago teenagers did not send threatening text messages, they did not post demeaning videos on youtube, nor did they impersonate the victim on social networks. Technology has changed the face of bullying behaviour...

... and yet the face of the bully remained the same.

It is the face of somebody who does not fit in.

While there is no excuse for bullying behaviour, it is a sad reality that once somebody is labelled a bully (or indeed typecast as a victim), it's usually too late. Children yearn to understand themselves and to be understood, and the bully-label is all too neat an excuse for venting their frustrations. "I'm a bully, so I'll just punch your face whenever you annoy me."

The solution is to be proactive...

... and to identify children with bullying tendencies before they get a chance to display bullying behaviour.

Many children become rebellious at school because they feel bored, stifled and misunderstood. The secret to their successful integration into the school system lies in satisfying the needs of their unique Learning Style.

The way in which a bully absorbs new and difficult information might not vary from his non-bullying peers when it comes to the VAK (visual, auditory and kinesthetic-tactile) needs. His or her bullying potential will come out in their non-conformist attitudes, dislike of authority and their non-preference for external motivation.

(To check a student's learning style preferences, you can start here.)

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.

You don't need to analyse a bully's Learning Style to realise they are already a bully. Anybody who hurts another person:
  • through a physical act,
  • with shouting, intimidating gestures, pulling mean faces,
  • by saying hurtful things about them,
is guilty of being a bully and should be reported.

What anti-bullying policies exist at your school? Do they use Learning Style Analysis to identify early warning systems that could imply bullying tendencies?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Maths and Tactile Learning Styles

How do you teach counting to a child whose Learning Style is tactile?
  • 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.
How do you help a tactile learner with multiplication, division, fractions?
  • 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!!!)
What about problem solving?

The thing to keep in mind, though, is that you can't always teach everything only in a tactile way. Some topics need to be presented visually, or verbally, or by taking a field trip. The idea is to use as many senses as you can to teach your child, but concentrate on always providing him with a tactile outlet (let him play with his pen or with a coin or with a Koosh ball). Also pay attention to his other needs: the time of day, intake, learning groups, authority, routine versus variety, imposed structure versus self-structure, motivation, etc.

Is your child tactile? What are his or her physical learning needs and environment preferences? Find out.

Thursday, October 21, 2010



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, ( where you will find a wealth of resources for sales and business development, including many resources about how to ask great questions.

Happy Hunting!

Barbara Weaver Smith
October 2010

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–

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Will Your Child's Learning Style Make Them A Smoker?

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:

Will your child's learning style make them a habitual smoker? Find out here.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Music and Your Learning Style

We've known this for decades, yet brand-new research by McGill University in Montreal, Canada, now confirms that music helps develop and stimulate the brain. It helps with communication and motor skills, it enhances word processing.

According to music therapist Neil Jourdan: "music helps to improve vocal skills, decrease inappropriate behaviour, improve academic ability, increase attention span, strengthen social skills, aid pain management and reduce stress, enhance self-confidence and promote emotional expression."

Renowned education expert, Barbara Prashnig, has a whole section devoted to using music in education in her book, "The Power of Diversity".

So, if Baroque music slows down the heartbeat and Mozart's music stimulates both brain hemispheres, should every learner have classical music playing in the background when they're learning?

The answer depends on your child's unique learning style. Do they prefer to concentrate in silence? Are they highly analytic? Highly auditory? Would music aid or distract them? Find out today.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Learning Styles - Food, Glorious Food

What does your Learning Style have to do with food? A lot, according to international education expert, Barbara Prashnig.

Your Learning Style influences what you eat and when. It dictates how you shop and how you cook. As much as you may be reluctant to admit it, your Learning Style rules your life!

Take the learning style need for intake, for example. If you have a preference in this learning style element, you will want to snack whenever you're concentrating on something new or difficult. If you're kinesthetic, you will prefer soft-textured food. If you're tactile, you'll enjoy eating with your fingers.

But that's only the beginning. Analytic thinkers will stick to the shopping list when shopping and to the recipe while cooking. Holistic thinkers won't have a shopping list and will adapt the recipe to suit their mood and the contents of their pantry.

People whose learning style welcomes change will probably be more willing to try new and weird food, particularly if their other learning style preferences are satisfied. So if your child is a fussy eater, try to introduce new food in an environment catered to his or her particular learning style and see the difference!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

More provocations for better classroom management

(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 and Learning Styles

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:

"... Dyslexia has a substantive neurobiological basis. Brain research, including studies from Yale and Auckland universities, has shown that while it is common to use the ‘verbal’ left side of our brain to understand words, dyslexic people use the ‘pictorial’ right side – making them slower to process and understand language, but stronger in creative areas like problem solving, empathy and lateral thinking."

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.

Dr Sally Shaywitz, founder of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, identified the strengths of dyslexic information processing as:
  • higher level conceptualisation
  • high learning capacity
  • exceptional empathy
  • excellence in highly specialised areas
  • "out-of-the-box thinking” which leads to new insights.
Unfortunately, those strengths come at a price. Dyslexic learners often have trouble with literacy, numeracy, decoding words and their meanings. Auditory information processing may be a challenge, together with making deadlines, planning and organising.

If you're familiar with Creative Learning's Learning Style Pyramid, you will immediately realise that dyslexic learners have a non-preference for analytic learning.

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

Learning Styles and Job Satisfaction

Even those of us lucky enough to have a job in today's economy are not always happy at work. A new survey found only 45% of Americans are satisfied with their job, and the trend seems to be similar in Europe. "Down under" in New Zealand and Australia, as many as 65% of people in the IT industry are "keeping their eyes open" for a new position.

It's easy to blame it all on the recession. However, worker dissatisfaction has been on the rise for more than two decades:
  • Fewer workers consider their jobs interesting.
  • Incomes have not kept up with inflation.
  • Companies have been cutting costs by making their staff work longer hours instead of employing more people.

  • Is there a way for managers to make their team happier if salary increases are not an option? We at Creative Learning believe the answer to be a resounding YES!

    A person's Learning Style is the way in which he or she learns best. Similarly, a person's Working Style is the way they work best.

    Sometimes, all you need to do to make your team happy is pay attention to their Working Style Preferences, such as:
    • 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

    A Question of Learning Styles: What has gone wrong in education?

    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

    What is a Teaching Style?

    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

    Stressed Out Teachers

    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

    Troubled Teens and Learning Styles

    It's not often that a popular fiction book, a thriller, deals with the thorny issue of parental responsibilities during their charges' teenage years. Harlan Coben, a New York Times bestselling author, has recently produced two such novels: Hold Tight and Caught.

    Hold Tight delves into the delicate dilemma of "should you spy on your teen's Internet activities". Caught asks whether it's OK for teens to consume alcohol at home when it's against the law: if your child will go out and drink anyway, is it better for a parent to provide a safe haven of a beer keg at home.

    Creative Learning doesn't have the answers to those questions, that's something every parent has to decide for themselves, having the full knowledge of their child.

    What Creative Learning can do, however, is supplement your knowledge. Is your child likely to sneak out at night and go to a party, then accept a drive home from somebody who'd been drinking?

    If their Learning Style has preferences in these areas:
    • learning with peers
    • noise
    • kinesthetic input
    • intake
    • external motivation
    • evening
    as well as a non-preference in the following areas:
    • responsibility
    • conformity
    • routine
    chances are, they may be a little more unruly than is safe for them.

    What is your teen's Learning Style. Find out today.

    Thursday, August 05, 2010

    Chinese Wisdom and Learning Styles

    (origin unknown)

    An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

    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."

    Everybody has his or her Learning Style. What are your unique flaws? Celebrate them here.

    Thursday, July 29, 2010

    Toy Story 3 or Shrek 4?

    Toy Story 3 or Shrek 4? Most reviewers seem to favour Toy Story. Which one do you prefer? The answer may lie in your learning style (which is not only the way you learn, but also the way you experience the world).

    On the face of it, Toy Story 3 will appeal to anyone who:
    • likes to work / play alone
    • can work in a team
    • enjoys outdoor experiences and adventure.
    Shrek 4 will appeal to anyone who:
    • likes to work / play alone
    • can work in a team
    • enjoys outdoor experiences and adventure.
    But wait, there is one important difference. Toy Story 3 is all about accepting change, while Shrek 4 is about going back to the old and embracing routine.

    Of course, you can be as analytic as you want. But ask a 5-year old which movie is better, and he'll tell you without hesitation: "Toy Story, because it didn't have all the kissing."

    Saturday, July 24, 2010

    LEARNING STYLES, Supervision and Conformity

    Simply put, a learning style is the way a child learns. The full definition expands it into the way a child takes in information, processes it, and memorises it for later use. A child’s learning styles will consist of many aspects:

    • 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.


    The need for externally imposed guidance and structure should not be confused with another important Learning Style element: working under parental and teacher supervision. Children who display a need for supervision and adult authority do not necessarily expect instructions from the adults. They simply enjoy having an adult close by to give them support to supervise the work, to check it at the end of each task and to give lots of feedback.

    While some children enjoy that kind of attention, others prefer to be independent. As long as their independence doesn’t result in uncompleted tasks or inappropriate activities, there is no need to offer them unwanted supervision.


    Another aspect of Learning Styles that may sometimes be confused with the need for guidance is conformity. Some children, particularly younger ones, draw security from having boundaries and knowing the rules. Others, however, tend to defy rules, sometimes just for the sake of the rebellion.

    Non-conforming children still need positive feedback from teachers and parents. They learn best when they understand why a learning task is important and they become less rebellious when they respect the person who sets the rules.

    What is your child's style?

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    Thinking Child and Learning Styles

    As parents, we get used to being in charge. We are usually the ones who set the rules, decide when it’s bedtime and what goes into the lunchbox. We know best how to tie a shoelace and what their friend would like for her next birthday. We run the risk of becoming too prescriptive in our parenting.

    This in turn might discourage our children from thinking for themselves. It's particularly true of children whose Learning Style has a preference for externally imposed structure and guidelines.

    If a child has a high need for externally imposed structure and guidelines, he or she will always await instructions from the teacher before they approach their school work or study projects. Being told precisely what to do and how to begin a task gives such a learner more security and confidence. In extreme cases, though, this may create a dependency on teacher instructions and feedback.

    Do you recognise this need in your child? No worries. You can teach them to become less dependent on others in learning, by showing them how to set priorities and how to self-structure their tasks.

    So, next time you find yourself doing too much around the children - stop and think: is there any way I can empower my child to tackle this task themselves?

    The idea is not to change the child’s wonderfully unique Learning Style: it is simply to teach them a life skill in a gentle non-threatening environment.