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Sites about learning styles
Our amazing minds and bodies can get information from
around us in many different ways - seeing things, hearing
things, doing things. Then our brains work with that information,
organizing it, storing it in our memories, rearranging it,
making connections to information we already have. This 'remembering
and organizing' process can also take different routes - are
we thinking in pictures or words? Do we remember details in
isolation or 'big ideas'?
When we're trying to learn things, it helps to know which
'channels' of learning are the most efficient. For example,
an auditory learner might have to look at something 15 times
to get the information into her memory - but had she read
that into a tape and played it cruising down the highway,
listening three times would have sufficed. Her friend Verna
Visual the Picture Thinker would do well to make a diagram
or drawing, because when she reflects back pictures come up
faster than words. Their buddy Kinesthetic Kim, now, learns
much faster when she's *doing* something with the information
-- whether it's words or pictures or a physical skill. The
act of drawing or writing information helps; just moving while
she thinks helps!
As some of the articles below point out, moving from the
'stronger' channels into other areas has definite benefits
in helping the learner really remember, process and understand
the material. Once the words are there, if you can also express
ideas in pictures, you've got command of that stuff... and
Read "learning style" articles
with a grain of salt firmly in hand. Different sources will
claim that "x percentage" of people are visual or
auditory learners... the percentages are different in different
articles and it's not clear where the information came from.
Likewise, one source may say "kids have trouble in school
because they are visual learners and so many of the tasks
are auditory," and another will say exactly the opposite.
Generally, these inventories are not
scientifically designed. Nobody's gone and wired up people's
brains to see whether or not people who 'test out' to be visual
learners really process information more rapidly or more often
using the 'visual processing' areas of the brain. Some of
the articles below have some very valuable commentary about
what to do with the information we get from a 'learning style
inventory,' including the important note that we can strengthen
our 'weaker channels' by using them, and that we can use different
channels for different tasks. You might also want to try several
different inventories to see just how consistent the results
are for you.
Pride's Learning Style and Multiplie Intelligence Information:
an excellent summary of the "seven intelligences"
and practical suggestions for capitalizing on your strengths.
Style Inventory: A Multiple Intelligences ApproachA lot
of space in educational journals is spent on "the seven
intelligences," and how schools tend to focus on two
of them - logical/mathematical and verbal/linguistic. While
all that journal space hasn't much changed what students are
required to do in classes, this inventory can get you thinking
about the other kinds of learning and thinking that go on
in life (read the article to find out what they are ;))--
and can uncover some strengths you may not have realized you
Style Inventoryand Compensating
for Weakness in Learning StyleThe Learning Style inventory
has frames and takes serious time to come up on your screen,
but don't miss the "Compensating" article for some
very good practical advice for how to develop those 'weaker'
channels... and how to handle learning situations where your
strengths don't match the task.