Thursday, June 30, 2011

Teaching The Non-Conforming Student

In last week's blog, we discussed the issues arising from parenting a non-conformist. Teaching a non-conforming student is even trickier, because you have a whole classroom of students, not only Johnny Non-Compliant.

There is no single magic solution. However, research suggests that the following techniques have a good chance of achieving positive results:
  • be respectful towards the student
  • be a person worthy of the student's respect
  • give the student attention and positive reinforcement
  • offer the student a face-saving "out" from any dispute they may be involved in
  • try to satisfy as many Learning Style needs of theirs as you practically can, with the help of our LSA tools

Gifted students are often non-conforming, often due to their attitude of "I'm so smart I don't need to do this worksheet" or due to their history of being bored at school. If Johnny Non-Compliant is a bright child, you can overcome his frame of mind by stimulating his interests and creativity. Get him on your side by admitting that sometimes the tasks you ask him to do will be way below his capability, but you have a good reason for wanting him to do it anyway (to memorise something, to increase the speed of his performance, to teach him perseverance, to keep him busy). Ask him to help you tutor one of his peers - teaching something is often a good way of really understanding the concept on a deeper level.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dealing with non-conformist Learning Styles

Is your child's Learning Style non-conforming?

The dictionary defines a non-conformist as a person who refuses to be bound by accepted customs or rules. Applied to parenting or teaching, this means a child who finds it difficult to respect boundaries at school or at home. Such children are a bit different. Raising a non-conformist, therefore, requires methods not usually found in traditional parenting textbooks focused on discipline and compliance.

The problem is, if you force a non-conformist to comply, you may be raising a rebel. Ask yourself what's more important: that the child obeys your every command or that they grow up to be responsible, well-adjusted individuals?

Alfie Kohn, nationally respected educator and author of "Unconditional Parenting", has moved away from asking how to make children do as they're told. Instead, he asks, "What do kids need - and how can we meet those needs?" What follows from that question are ideas for working with children rather than doing things to them.

He notes that while externally-motivated children respond to rewards and punishment in the short term only, internally-motivated children don't respond at all.

Kohn's solutions?
  • Offer unconditional love.
  • Respect your children.
  • Listen to their issues.
  • Try to say yes. Think how often you've said no to your child simply because it was easier. Or to save face. Or to pretend you have control.
  • It is better to give your non-conformist some space and not try to dictate every aspect of his or her life.
  • If their learning style indicates high responsibility, make them accountable for their behaviour.
  • If your child is holistic, give them outlets to express themselves creatively.
  • Remember that they will grow up before you know it.
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. summed up why we need to raise non-conformists: "The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood."

Do you know whether your child's learning style is a non-conformist, internally motivated, holistic and responsible? Find out here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"There's Only One Answer. It's At The Back. Don't Look."

At Creative Learning, we are fully behind the concept of paradigm shifts in education. Our Learning Style Analysis tools are poised to place a higher value on creativity and to challenge people's thinking about teaching our children in standard batches that resemble a factory process instead of a journey of discovery.

This is why we're delighted to bring you the video by Sir Ken Robinson about the paradigm shift in education. It's not enough in today's world, he reasons, to work hard, get a good education and a good job. A university degree no longer guarantees financial success. We should concentrate more on the individual (see his reference to learning styles on the 7th minute of the video) and on nurturing creativity in our children.

Now that you've seen the video clip, are you keen to discover your child's learning style? Click here.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

ADHD, Learning Disabled or Gifted - The Misunderstood Learning Style

An academically gifted child is one who has a high aptitude for learning school subjects such as maths, natural and physical sciences, as well as languages. Gifted children's learning style follows a unique pattern of learning preferences, making school work easily accessible.

Because learning comes easily to such children, it's almost impossible to believe that they could be misdiagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder). Yet many gifted children go through their school career labelled difficult or inadequate learners.

Through no fault of theirs, many schools fail to address the needs of the gifted child. They:
  • Do not support the child's interests.
  • Discourage curious questioning.
  • Do not value self-expression.
  • Lack opportunities for critical thinking.
  • Neglect the gifted child in favour of those who struggle to learn the syllabus.
And here comes the problem. A gifted child might become frustrated and start to exhibit the same signs as a person suffering from ADHD. Worse still, gifted children may even have learning disabilities, concealed by the fact that their superior reasoning ability enables them to cope with school in the first few years. Such overcompensation requires more energy and ultimately becomes demotivating.

Is your child gifted? Use our Learning style Analysis to find out.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Your Learning Style and Intuition

Intuition, gut-feel, instinct - call it what you will. We all have it. But whether you pay any attention to the little voice inside your subconscious mind telling you to accept a job or believe a stranger... that's up to your Learning Style.

That's right! Whether you trust your intuition and make impulsive, on-the-spot decisions is dictated by the way in which you process new information, according to the Learning Style Pyramid model advocated by international education expert, Barbara Prashnig.

Intuition has been ridiculed by science for ages. Now it's enjoying a comeback thanks to the excellent book "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell (a number 1 bestseller). Gladwell recounts numerous instances where less information is more and how people from doctors to marriage counsellors only need 10 seconds to determine everything they need to know... provided they listen to their intuition and are happy to make quick decisions.

There are two kinds of people: spontaneous and reflective. Which one are you? Find out today, and discover over 40 other things you didn't know about yourself, using one of our Style Analysis products.