Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Learning Styles - Crutch or Tool?

Deb Peterson recently posted a piece about learning styles. Some people think understanding learning styles is a hindrance because it is akin to coddling. Hmmm.

When I was homeschooling, I took the time to understand my children's learning styles. I did not see the learning styles as a hindrance, but as a tool. Knowing the learning styles helped me to understand my children better. I did not cater to one learning style over another. If one child needed more help in understanding a concept than another, I was able to schedule some special time with that child.

Too often someone may use their learning style as an excuse or as a reason they cannot communicate with others effectively. As mature adults, we need to be able to work with different learning styles. Understanding my own learning style helps me to manage my time better and study better.

I am a combination of the tactile and visual learning styles. I learn best when I can touch it and see it. Just hearing about it is not enough. My middle son is like that as well. My oldest son is an auditory learner. You can tell him something and he'll take it and run with it. My daughter is a visual learner. My husband is visual as well. He can read about something and know it.

Shakespeare's Hamlet said, "We know what we are . . .". If I know I am a tactile/visual learner, I can make use of that to not only help myself, but to help others as well. Do not use self-knowledge as a crutch or as an excuse. Use it as a tool. Stay tuned . . .

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