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.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

FIFA 2010 and Learning Styles

With the soccer fever reaching its peak, it's only fair to look at some of the teams and individual players' sport style. Tempting as it is to discuss the benefits of fair play versus "diving", of back kicks versus headers and of goalies who stay put versus goalies who venture beyond the penalty box, the Creative Learning take on soccer is somewhat more unique.

What we are most interested in, includes:
  • what learning style allows the players to remain calm and keep performing under the tremendous stress of playing in the World Cup;
  • what learning style makes the best soccer players.
In order to stay calm under pressure, your "crocodile brain" style has to be pretty much the same as your "acquired style", because it's the crocodile brain that rules when the going gets tough. Having flexible preferences in your environment and physical needs also helps, because you won't get stressed by the vuvuzelas or the time of day.

When it comes to the learning style best suited for soccer, many styles will be suitable, though people with a strong preference for external kinesthetic learning and movement will naturally feel more inclined to learn physical skills. You will also need a preference for team playing with a coach, a lot of both internal and external motivation, a desire to conform to the rules (woe to the players who think they are above the regulations), high perseverance and responsibility.

Motivation, high perseverance and responsibility are in fact the necessary Learning Style Elements in any recipe for success.

While we cannot offer you a personal analysis of your Soccer Style at present, we do have an LSA Golf for the golfers out there. Please write to us if you'd interested in an LSA Soccer instrument.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The STOP-START Teacher

Wouldn't it be great if we could STOP-START the teacher any time we wanted? Like when our attention wanders, or when we didn't quite get what they drew on the board... what if we could just press the REWIND button and watch the explanation again?

Now you can. The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing a high quality education to the Internet community. Their menu consists of arithmetic, calculus, history, biology, finance... all in all, around 1,500 video clips that can be viewed online.

The learning style best suited to this method of teaching is:
  • studying alone
  • high responsibility
  • visual (reading)
  • visual (video)
  • auditory (external)
  • tactile
  • no movement needed.