Friday, May 28, 2010

Solve your discipline issues with Learning Styles

Barbara Prashnig’s book, “Learning Styles in Action”, does more than help you implement learning styles: it actually helps you solve your stress and discipline issues.

The book is full of scenarios and diverse real-life situations. Among others, “Learning Styles in Action” shows you:

  • How learning styles can help underachieving or disruptive students
  • Multi-sensory teaching and learning in action
  • Ways to integrate learning styles and ICT (computer technology)
  • How to create a real learning styles classroom
  • The do’s and don’ts of using learning styles.
Each of the 24 chapters describes a particular aspect of style diversity and how to apply it in different situations – from nursery to university, from homework to exams, to sports coaching and sustaining change programmes in schools.

Many enlightened teachers are doing amazing work with young people. If you want to be one of them, read this book.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Learning Styles and Reading Information

If you've read the previous post in the series (Learning Styles and Using Google), you will have seen that many students and school children are sadly incapable of getting information out of search engines. A number of factors may be at play here, and today we will look at one of them in more detail: the inability to read facts.

Thanks to the TV and the Xbox, many chilsren today aren't as good readers as their parents were at this age. However, we see children who are fluent readers and who love reading fiction still struggle with reading web pages and textbooks.

The same children who can't use Google are probably equally incapable of finding out facts in the encyclopaedia or "how to" books. It all comes down to the fact that a learning style is not a measure of how well you do something, but a preference for a way of presenting new and difficult concepts.

It would be a mistake to assume that just because your child reads a lot of books they can learn from non-fiction textbooks, just like a child who watches a lot of TV might not necessarily learn best from DVDs.

To determine your child's learning style, start here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Learning Styles and Using Google

There's a joke making its rounds on email lately, "Living without a Cell Phone". It's all about how hard our childhood's been compared to that of our children. One of the points it makes is the ease with which today's school children can access information online, whereas anybody over 30 still remembers having to go to the library and look it up in the card catalogue, request the book, wait two weeks, fetch the book....

It sounds like Generation Y and Z is living in Utopia and they "don't know how good they've got it". However, a recent study by Otago University (New Zealand) reveals a somewhat different picture. Although school children in developed countries today have easy access to the Internet and they know how to load up Google, what they don't know is how to squeeze information out of it.

Their failure to conduct online research (even when the topic was well-defined, such as, find out how the kiwi bird got its name) is attributed to a number of reasons:
  • mistyping
  • inability to phrase the search properly
  • inability to filter out relevant hits
  • incomprehension of what they're reading.
All valid theories, of course. Nevertheless, Creative Learning would like to add another hypothesis to the mix: that of the children's learning style.

To use a computer effectively, a child should have certain learning style strengths, such as visual (words), visual (external), tactile, working well alone. In addition, to perform a meaningful Google search, a child needs a balance of analytic and holistic processing skills, the ability to sit still and the ability to work in an unstructured way.

Can your child cope with finding relevant information online? To determine your child's learning style, start here.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Story Magic - Bring Stories to Life with Learning Styles

We all agree how important it is for the next generation to love books, right?


But when it comes to books, it's not all about reading... not only about the skill of reading. It's also about the actual stories. Stories are a useful way to teach children our values (it pays to be noble and righteous, because good overcomes evil in the end), introduce the concept of "baddies" in a loving, secure environment, as well as inform us about the way things work (from making soup to what a hearing aid is).

All children love stories, so it makes sense to smuggle in new and difficult information to them using the medium of the written word...

... except, of course, not everybody's learning style is visual (words), in other words, not all children enjoy having to read the words themselves.

What is a parent to do?
  • If your child is auditory (internal), click here to listen to children who read stories to other children.
  • Children who are auditory external may prefer to read the stories out loud and to re-tell them to you in their own words.
  • If your child is visual (external), watch this site.
  • Kinesthetic children will enjoy acting out the stories as you read them out loud.
  • Tactile children may want to draw or make the characters from the story, participate in reading touch-and-feel books, or even make ordinary books into tactile books themselves.
To determine your child's learning style, start here.