As a teacher, I have found that I have I tend to teach the way I learn best. I have found this isn’t always the best way to teach, because not all of my students don’t learn the way I do. I began to read a book called Gifts and Talents for Teenagers by Carol Carter. This book isn’t for teachers, but obviously as the title says it is for teenagers. My wife gave this book to read as a change of perspective.
One aspect I take away as I am reading this book is to remember that no matter the I.Q of a student they will always fall into one of three categories for learning styles: kinesthetic, visual, or auditory. Though I may be a specific learner, I must find a way to teach in these modes. Not only that, but I must know my students learning style.
Carol Carter gives a few ideas on how to figure out your students. “When sitting in class, kinesthetic learners may shuffle their feet, re-position themselves often in their seat, and/or tap their fingers on their desk. Many kinesthetic learners gesture with their hands while talking. They enjoy activities that involve movement, such as sports or dance” (p.40).
Carter goes on to describe the visual learner who “most effectively learn through seeing. They often can picture things in their mind and recall those pictures later when it comes time to take a quiz or test” (p.41). These type of learners will have some of the most detailed notes and may draw pictures to help them remember certain things. These type of learners learn best when “watching someone do something before actually doing it themselves is central to their learning process.” It is important to remember that these type of learners get bored with lectures.
Finally, Carter goes on to describe the auditory learners learns “best by listening or hearing. They often use rhythm to memorize things and may develop musical talents” (p.41). They auditory learner will prefer to be told what to do than shown. “Auditory learners can accurately recall details from conversations or lectures.”
After reading this material, and thinking about my own classroom and students I have come to the conclusion that great teachers will be able to incorporate all three learning styles into their classrooms. What we need to do is show our students what kind of learner they are, and show them techniques to use that learning style to their advantage. Once they know how to use their learning style they can be successful in the classroom, college, and in their future career.