|Holistic Education Network ...|
This approach to learning emphasizes the fact that individuals perceive and process information in different ways. Learning styles theory implies that individuals learn more when the educational experience is geared toward their preferred style of learning and when the learning process involves cycles through different learning styles.
Learning styles theories are based on one or more models about an individuals natural and/or learned disposition for perceiving and processing of information:
visual, auditory or kinesthetic - VAK
active/reflective, sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal, sequential/global
verbal/linguistic, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial, musical/rhythmic, interpersonal, interpersonal, naturalistic, existential - Multiple Intelligence Theory
left brain=verbal-sequential abilities and right brain=emotions-spatial holistic processing - Brain Lateralization Theory
Quadrant A: analytical, mathematical, technical and problem solving. Quad B: controlled, conservative, planned, organised and administrative in nature. Quad C: interpersonal, emotional, musical, spiritual and the "talker" modes. Quad D: imaginative, synthesising, artistic, holistic and conceptual modes. - Herrmann's Whole Brain Model
activists, reflectors, pragmatists, theorists- David Kolb - models of experiential learning - emphasises an experiential learning cycle
innovative, analytic, common sense, dynamic - 4MAT model - emphasises a learning cycle.
Julia Aitken - takes the Herrmann model further by developing an Integral Learning
Process with teacher guidelines for designing activities which take
students through a learning cycle. Activities should engage the student's
'self', nudge them to 'grasp in their mind's eye' (using their preferred
learning mode), help students make sense of stuff and develop
theories, and encourage them to further explore, apply, or express etc.
These models can serve students as a framework for thinking about themselves as learners. In doing this they become aware of their strengths and weaknesses as a learner. Some models come with recommended ways of studying for each Learning Style - something which students find very useful though they need to be careful how they use the information.
For the holistic educator it is important not to label students or have students limit themselves to preferred learning and thinking modes. Students should be encouraged to move flexibly between learning styles as they express and develop their wholeness.
They should also be encouraged to work collaboratively and cooperatively with those whose preferred learning styles may be different. By understanding that everyone has different preferred learning styles students begin to value diversity and discover new ways to co-create new possibilities.
A real advantage of working with learning styles is that it promotes multiple pedagogical approaches by teachers and empowers students to take control of their own learning. When used within a holistic education framework where students can bring in their profound questions and where activities are also designed to stimulate student's learning and thinking development stage, these can be tools for transformation.
|Learning Style Inventories
Styles - University of Toronto site
Learning Styles - Resources
Learning styles and learning outcomes - Faculty of Education, Deakin University
Learning Styles and Strategies - for students and teachers.
David Kolb - models of experiential learning - emphasises an experiential learning cycle
of learning Styles - metacognitive questions. Active/reflective,
sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal, sequential/global.
Learning Styles Evaluation - online test for visual/auditory/kinesthetic
VARK Learning Styles Questionaire - for students - visual/aural/read/kinesthetic - includes study strategies.
Learning Styles: Modality Preference Inventory - pen and paper test for visual/auditory/kinesthetic/tactile.
Learning Style Inventory - extravert/introvert,
sensate/intuitive, thinker/feeler, judger/perceiver. Pen and paper