Learning Styles "This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man" Shakespeare, Hamlet I:iii:78
Learning style theory arose out of the development of magnetic resonance imaging in the early 1980s. As doctors used MRI scanners to treat brain-injured patients, they accumulated a mass of data about how the brain processes information. Researchers took the results and added them to developing theories in psychology to produce brain-related approaches to learning.
"Learning styles" is one of the fashionable phrases at the Department for Education and Skills. In part, this reflects the new emphasis on choice, but underpinning it is the theory that everyone has an individual style of learning and that working with that style, rather than against it, will benefit both pupil and teacher. "Through an understanding of learning styles, teachers can exploit pupils' strengths and build their capacity to learn," The theory of learning styles is based on "tried and tested techniques" and draws on "academic research and the experience of practising teachers". Tuesday May 31, 2005 The Guardian
There was a huge improvement in pupils’ motivation as they began to develop awareness of themselves and how they learn. The time they spent on task increased and the amount of negative behaviour declined. Their learning became more personalised, which helped their interaction with each other and pupil-teacher relationships. The disruptive year 11 pupils became much more interested in PE lessons after we started to meet their needs as visual learners and their behaviour improved significantly. Staff motivation also improved. They enjoyed the challenge of using different teaching styles and found teaching much more rewarding as pupils’ attitudes improved. One member of staff commented: ‘Choosing a teaching approach that suited the pupils and not me was difficult at first, but now I get a real buzz from this way of working and the students can see that. I’m amazed at the changes I’ve seen in them.’ The new approach gave staff opportunities to discuss learning and their work in a new way. It began to provide a structure for good practice to be shared – as a result of the work, three heads of department who formerly had little contact started to share ideas. QCA – PESS (Physical education and school sport) Woodcote High School in Croydon
The school decided to adopt a "learner-centred" approach, putting children rather than exam results, inspectors or the national curriculum at the top of its agenda. Now, Cramlington's senior management team has the ambitious aim of giving every student a rewarding experience - in every class. Mr Wise and his team, inspired by the accelerated learning guru Alistair Smith - with whom they work closely and have written a book about the strategy - have devised a framework that translates a jumble of pedagogical thinking into a coherent set of tools that can be applied by every teacher. The guiding principle is that lessons should cater for all learning styles. "The danger for teachers," says Mr Wise, "is that your own learning style becomes your teaching style." A "Cramlington cycle" lesson plan aims to meet the needs of active learners, visual learners and aural learners. It contains a recap of the previous lesson, and time for collaboration between students, for putting the learning into context and for reviewing it at the end of the session. http://www.cchsonline.co.uk/conf2005/files/l2l/Why%20Learning%20how%20to%20Learn.ppt
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The Big Picture Objective: **Identify your own learning styles, and how it relates to you as a teacher. **To demonstrate different learning styles
1) When you think about spelling a word do you…
See the word
Sound the word
Write the word down to see if it looks right
2)When you are really concentrating, are you distracted by…
Noise /talking/ music
3) When you recall specific incidents, do you…
Talk little and are reluctant to listen for too long
Like to listen and talk as well
Talk with hands and gesture a lot
10) When you receive praise or a reward, do you prefer to …
Receive a written note of certificate
Hear it said to you
Be given a ‘pat on the back’ or hand shake
Now add up your scores and fill your learning profile sheet in
Underlining key points Mime Design and build activities Notes and post it cards Walking and talking Kinaesthetic Pair/group work Dramatic reading out loud Muttering Rap, rhyme, chants Mnemonics, onomatopoeia Music Auditory Use visual displays Mindmaps Video/ohp Highlighter pens Diagrams charts, images Visual
Activity In pairs discuss whether you think these characteristic fit you.
What have we learnt? Different probabilities? Game – How many people hold right hand up when asked to raise their hand? On whiteboards estimate and place face down, then close eyes (no cheating) and raise hand. Count up before allowing them to open eyes. Show answers then tell them who is correct! Discuss why expectancy may not be ½? Plenary In pairs drop a drawing pin from 15cm and record which way it lands 20 times. What is your exp. Prob? Why different to others? What do you expect your results to be like if you dropped it 40, 100, etc times? (different results). How could we make results better? (Do more drops, or collate results) Why would this give you better results? Interlinks with above. Exp. Prob Q’s and expectancy Q’s on 10 ticks – Level 7/8 Pack1 Page8 – Q 4,6,7 Main Q’s - If I roll a dice 300 times. How many 6’s would you expect? Why? - If David Beckham took 300 free kicks. How many would he score? Why? What might affect this? Starter Lesson Objective: To be able to use experimental probability to work out expectancies.
Models of the heart Dissection of the heart Explanations of visual prompts Encouraged to discuss what parts of the heart they are looking at in the dissection Diagrams Simulations on the internet. Lesson activities for kinaesthetic learners Lesson activities for auditory learners Lesson activities for visual learners
Look back at the initial photo and based on their increased knowledge about Favelas students add 5 words or phrases to their lists. Students give feedback. Plenary (VA) Watch video about Sao Paulo – students make notes. In groups students are given scraps of paper, card, plastic etc and they try to build a Favela. (The groups have different amounts of resources)The objective of this is to see inequalities within a Favela. Main(VAK) Show picture of a Favela – students write down words to describe photo and then give feedback. Starter (VA) Lesson Objective: to investigate life in a Brazilian Favela
How would we fit all three learning styles into a typical lesson? You have 10 mins to plan a lesson for your subject using VAK. You need a starter , main and plenary
Brain Gym Piano fingers Alphabet edit Lazy eights Pass the clap 1,2,3 Nose, ear change
http://www.acceleratedlearning.co.uk/brain_breaks.htm Teachers naturally sense when children are going off task, and attempt to refocus attention. The ALPS Approach’ and 'The Thinking Child' give suggestions of how to do this in ways that strengthen neural pathways and reinforce learning. So in other words, rather than waste time on reminding children to refocus, you spend that time increasing brain-power and learning at the same time!
Brain Gym, Paul E. Dennison and Gail E. Dennison, Edu-Kinesthetics, 1989 The Learning Gym – Fun-to-do Activities for Success at School , Erich Ballinger, Edu-Kinesthetics, 1992 http://www.alite.co.uk/ The ALPS approach , Accelerated Learning in Primary Schools (Paperback) by Alistair Smith (Author), Nicola Call (Author) Beneficial Reading Websites: Accelerated Learning , C. Rose Accelerated learning in the classroom , A. Smith The Thinking Child Resource Book (The Early Years) by Nicola Call and Sally Featherstone