Saturday, 25 August 2012

Different learning styles of different students and how these styles affect the tutoring patterns

In my blogs I have always tried to look at different means of instilling creativity in children. This write-up is about different learning styles adopted by different students and how these styles affect the tutoring pattern.

Every child has a unique way of absorbing and learning things. When you are meeting a child for the first time it might take you some time to get their learning methods. But these learning methods can mean a lot for a tutor in strategizing long term planning for a child. In my blogs I have always concentrated on various facets through which children can be creatively engrossed in learning activities. In this blog I will talk about different learning styles in different students which make it mandatory for a tutor to change their teaching style according to the learning style of the student. But first of all let me enumerate different learning styles in children. According to an article written with the same subject by D. H. Sailor, he says that there are various theories which revolve around different learning styles of children but he finds the model discussed by Sliver, Strong and Perini in 1997 a good example which accumulates all the major learning from different theories and try to adopt in their model. So let me discuss about this model in detail to make it interesting for you to understand the different learning styles for students:

  • Mastery Learners: These types of learners are aggressors. They try to absorb every new information in a step-by-step process. They are very clear about their objectives and like things which are depicted in simple manner. They believe in practical application of the learning. About 35% of students fall under this category.

  • Understanding Learners: They have the innate quality of asking lots of questions. They are curious to learn new things and are inquisitive to learn them as quickly as possible. They have good reasoning ability which makes them good inspiration of transforming their ideas into practical solutions.  They are quite logical in their approach and always ask the question why whenever they are in doubt. They look for proof or evidence whenever they find it difficult to get the theory and are very practical in their approach. About 35% of students fall under this category.      
  • Self-Expressive Learners: These types of learners depend on their feelings and what they see in material to absorb things. They are artistic by nature and value originality. About 12% of students fall in this category.

  • Interpersonal Learners: These learners require a group to perform better. They absorb ideas by sharing it with others. They are always very contributive and value the inputs that are useful for the entire group. They believe in providing services to fellow colleagues through volunteering. About 18% of students fall under this category.

But this theory cannot be used rigidly for each and every scenario. You can find that with a change in scenario, a self expressive learner might adopt the style of interpersonal learner’s style in different situation. For example; Imagine a scenario where the students are given a project on social studies. A self-expressive learner can create the project on his own; but by adopting “interpersonal learners” style he/she can get better knowledge of the project by contributing and sharing different ideas with each other and coming up with a creative project.

Likewise, we have already heard that creative people use left side of their brains and intellectuals use right side of the brain. But imagine a situation wherein you have to adopt both creativity and intellectuality to solve the problem. In that case you are using equal proportions of both sides of the brain. Moreover, there are children who are good are storytelling, drama or writing. While there are others who are very good at crafts, field trips, experiments and learning musical instrument.  

Hence; it is very important for the tutors to understand the learning style that is most comfortable with the child and then progress with their work. This will enable them to teach them in a better way and make them grasp things in a proper way through different ways that the child likes rather than teaching them in the same vein as taught previously. This way the creativity in the child can be developed and the tutor’s responsibility of imparting knowledge in the best possible way would be fulfilled.

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