Monday, June 11, 2012

Understanding Learning Styles

The ultimate goal of all educators is to differentiate instruction.  The idea behind differentiated instruction is to create learning opportunities that make allowances for differences in how individual students learn in order to ensure equal access to important academic content. Content may be modified for students who need additional practice with essential elements before moving on; however, the expectation is that modifications in other areas will ultimately allow all students to master the same key content.

By understanding how a student learns, educators can develop a homework style that is most beneficial to him or her.  Education experts agree that most children are strongest in one of these main styles: visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.

Visual learners learn best when they can picture something in their minds.  They absorb more from reading a book themselves than from having it read to them.  Parents and teachers can help them learn by using flash cards for spelling and math.  

Auditory learners learn best by listening and responding verbally.  Auditory learners are excellent listeners.  Educators who use verbal analogies and storytelling to demonstrate ideas are very successful with these types of learners. 

Kinesthetic learners learn best by handling and touching things.  They are movement oriented and have trouble keeping still.  Kinesthetic learners are successful when acting out events or drawing diagrams about things worth remembering.

As educators we need to remember that successful students understand how they learn. 

-Some of the information above was adapted from The Confident Learner, by Marjorie R. Simic

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