Friday, July 12, 2013

Students Left Behind and Learning Styles

The nine strong learning style needs in students who underperform are:

  1. A holistic teaching approach - overview first, depth later.
  2. Mobility at frequent intervals.
  3. A variety of instructional resources from which to learn (to match students' low auditory and low visual modalities and their strong preferences for tactile/kinesthetic learning - hands-on activities - and their strong need for variety rather than routines and patterns).
  4. Learning difficult content at other times, not in early morning classes.
  5. Recognition of their high motivation despite their inability to learn through conventional methods; positive feedback instead of put-downs.
  6. Friendly rather than authoritarian teachers.
  7. Resources which introduce new and difficult information through multi-sensory methods (kinesthetic, tactile, visual, auditory) to make learning easier and more appealing.
  8. Informal seating arrangements in classrooms to respond to their inability to sit on plastic or wooden chairs for more than 10-12 minutes and their strong need for mobility.
  9. Soft illumination which means avoiding fluorescent lights in classrooms.
From the work we are doing with Learning Styles in New Zealand and internationally we can already see that the same features apply to underachievers everywhere. They inevitably become at-risk students and drop-outs when their learning needs are not matched over longer periods of time.

If schools had their students' learning styles assessed, trained their teachers to become more aware of diversity in the classroom and teach with matched instruction methods, as well as educate parents in their children's true learning needs, fewer students would experience frustration and the inability to succeed in academic classes. This could well be the cure for underachievement.

We at the Creative Learning are committed to helping schools eliminate underachievement. For more information contact us at:

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