Saturday, August 31, 2013

Carrot and stick - how to motivate your students using Learning Styles

There are two types of students in the world: those who are internally motivated, and those who are motivated by external means.It all depends on their Learning Style.

It’s very easy to get an externally motivated child to behave in class or learn the new work: all you have to do is promise her a reward. The reward can be verbal (you’re such a good girl, I’m proud of you), material (a star), accrued (a star-chart with a well defined reward once the child accumulates 20 stars) or a withdrawal of privileges.

It’s even easier to get an internally motivated child to behave in class or learn the new work: you don’t need to do anything at all, because the student will do it all out of her internal sense of “I want to do this”. That’s provided she herself sees that schoolwork and school behaviour as important matters worthy of engaging her internal motivation system over. If she doesn’t see them as important, you have a problem on your hands, because no amount of carrot/stick is going to have an effect on her.

So, what do you do as a teacher? The first step is, naturally, to establish what type of motivation works on your students, and to what extend: some students may have a strong preference for external motivation, others only a slight one, they may have a non-preference for it (in which case it’s really not a good idea to offer them external rewards), or they may be flexible in this area (in other words, a combination of internal and external motivation would work well). 

Check out your students' Learning Styles. You will also get a free group profile for your class, with a summary of how many of your students are internally and externally motivated.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sport and Your Learning Style

A big part of your school life is probably centred around sport: be it basketball, soccer, rugby, fencing, or skiing.

Just like with anything else in life, the way in which you learn sport techniques and the way in which you play the sport will depend to a large extend on your LearningStyle.
Some style features to consider are:
·         Motivation
·         Perseverance/Persistence
·         Responsibility
·         Teamwork or training alone
·         Time of day
·         Need for structure
·         Need for routine
·         Sequential or simultaneous learning.

A beautiful example of this is golf as Wayne Thomas, a professional golf coach near Melbourne, Australia, describes it:

“I have always recognised that there is something missing with coaching, despite the excellent results many of my students reported receiving. What concerns me most is a person’s inability to sustain new levels of performance and continually falling back into old patterns. My continued pursuit of knowledge about golf swing, human movement, mental approach to oneself, equipment and communication skills wasn’t providing the key that would open the gate to the amazing potential we all possess.

When I first met Barbara Prashnig and she put forward the notion that HOW people learn is more important than WHAT people learn, it sparked for me a new era in coaching: I immediately began changing my coaching style and the learning environment to match the students’ learning styles. This has led to astonishing improvements and sustained playing ability in my golf students.”

Do you want to know what your Learning Style is? Click here

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Learning Truths

Truth 1:

If you find learning difficult, it’s probably because your learning style is different from the teaching style of your teachers. You can learn anything you want if you do it in your own preferred way.

Truth 2:

You have the right to learn in a way that suits you best:
·         Using regular or electronic whiteboards, Power Point presentations and typed information sheets;
·         Listening to the teacher explaining subject topics;
·         Discussing new concepts with your peers;
·         Learning through role-playing and physical games;
·        Making something in order to understand it (e.g. posters of chemical reactions, clay models of hydrogen molecules, tactile/visual learning tools).

Truth 3:

Whether you like it or not, learning will always be part of your life:
·         Computer operating systems change every few years and with them the look of your email and browser applications.
·         Mobile phones get better and more advanced - you will have to learn a new interface soon.
·         You will have to acquire new skills on the job all the time in your future career.
·         You will have to learn to live with new friends and partners in your private life.
·         You will most likely want to learn to drive a car, scuba dive, play the latest electronic game, put up a virtual store of your DVD collection or create your own website.
·         You might even want to learn to live in a new country, with a new set of rules and a new language.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Teenagers, take note. If your room is a mess, you’re not alone. Most people your age battle with their parents for the right to keep their rooms the way they like it. 
But did you know that being messy could be more than a “teenage thing”? It's your Learning Style. Whether you are organised or disorganised, tidy or messy, punctual or unable to keep track of time is a biological (inherent and often inherited) function of your brain, difficult to change. 

Perhaps you and your parents can strike a deal: you will keep the bathroom, kitchen and lounge tidy in exchange for them allowing your room to be as untidy as you please but not filthy?

Your Learning Style report will tell you whether you are disorganised by nature. It will also offer you tips on how to help you get better organised.

By the way, this is a cool book about cleaning up the unusual way: THE ART OF CLEAN UP.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

CLS – Learning Style and Experiencing Life

How do you experience the world around you? Is it a collage of images, colours, people’s faces? Is it all sounds, music, echoes of people’s voices, snatches of conversations from two decades ago? Does every object have texture, and even if you don’t touch it you know exactly what it would feel like under your fingers?
Depending on your learning style, you may experience the world in a visual, auditory or tactile manner. You will notice what people wear and the pattern of the wallpaper in a restaurant. Or you will be able to recognise a song after the first three notes. Or you’ll be able to select your favourite mug from the pantry by touch alone.

Depending on your learning style, you will get upset if someone’s late for a meeting… or it won’t bother you at all. Depending on your learning style, you will find bright light stimulating or stressful. Depending on your learning style, you will forever want to crank the thermostat in the office up or down.

In a way, it feels liberating to know it’s not your fault. Your spouse has given you three verbal instructions and you can only remember the words, “Honey, could you please…”? Not your fault. Your work station is messy? Blame your learning style.

The Creative Learning tool for assessing an adult person’s learning style is called the Working Style Analysis (WSA). Create your personal report now.