Friday, October 26, 2012

Learning Styles - The Cure For Underachievement

The younger children are, the more right-brain dominant they are; therefore they need more holistic, right-brain teaching methods because their analytical brain-processing skills are not yet developed and in many people (research estimates approximately two thirds of the Western population) holistic brain-processing remains the preferred thinking style throughout life. Most people can apply analytical thinking processes if they have to, but this makes learning harder and information storage much more difficult for them.

However, if a school system, which is based on analytical teaching methods, forces young people to do all their learning analytically (as this is the preferred teaching style, especially in academic subjects in most of our high schools) the result is that such a system sets up students for failure - especially those whose brain-processing is strongly holistic.

Another factor which contributes to the mismatch between teaching and learning styles is the well researched fact that teachers are strongly analytical in their approaches, more so in high schools than in primary schools (and even more in tertiary education) and cannot imagine that their specific subject area could be studied and presented holistically, in a more right-brain way. It is just not in their thinking! Such teachers also seem to have great difficulties in accepting that there is more than one way to learn anything, because due to their own sequential thinking processes, analytics believe 'their' way is the best and the only one.

And that false belief causes holistic students to fail, mainly in analytical subjects such as mathematics, science, economics, etc, which causes boredom and frustration, has a negative effect on their overall performance, and seems to be the main reason for behaviour and learning problems, which then lead to social problems among young adolescents.

Is your child analytic or holistic? Find out using our professional Learning Style Analysis instruments.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Have You Ever Been Wrong?

Have you ever been wrong? We all have. Teachers, however, would be wise to exercise caution when evaluating their pupils, lest their words of judgement come back to haunt them.

When British scientist, Sir John Gurdon, 'the godfather of cloning', won the Nobel Prize for Medicine earlier this month, he proved just how wrong his school teacher had been. Back in 1949, Sir John's school report described his grasp of biology as 'disastrous'. It added: 'I believe he has ideas about becoming a scientist; on his present showing this is quite ridiculous.'

Most likely, Sir John's learning style wasn't what schools expected in the 1940s. Chances are, he was kinesthetic, needed variety in his learning process and didn't enjoy externally imposed structures. If only his teacher had access to our Learning Style Analysis instruments (LSA)!

Sir John

Thursday, October 11, 2012

How To Implement Learning Styles

What's the one question we're asked more than any other? It's this: how do you implement Learning Styles?

For those visual learners out there, we thought we'd answer with a few videos:
What is your child's learning style?

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Does Your Workplace Benefit From Learning Styles Concepts?

In his article, Four Destructive Myths Companies Still Live By, Tony Schwartz (author of BE EXCELLENT AT ANYTHING) discusses two important Learning Style concepts:
  • that multitasking doesn't always get things done faster; and
  • that creativity is the ability to use the whole brain, flexing between the left and the right hemisphere.
What Tony doesn't say, is that true multitaskers actually do work better when they can concentrate on more than one thing, while true analytics get stressed and burned out if they have to multitask. Which working style is better for you, simultaneous or sequential? Find out.

If you discover that your working style is integrated (balanced between simultaneous and sequential), you'll have the added bonus of knowing that you have the potential to do well in creative tasks and careers.

But no matter what your working style, Tony maintains that working longer hours doesn't lead to getting more done. "Great performers — and enlightened leaders — recognize that it's not the number of hours people work that determines the value they create, but rather the energy they bring to whatever hours they work."

Here's that link to your personal working style analysis again.