This past Friday we had a guest lecturer, Jesse Martin, who said something to us that stuck with me. He said that, “we all learn the same way.” I was confused by his statement until someone asked, “So how do people learn?” He explained that we start out with information that becomes knowledge. We embed that knowledge by putting it in our brain in a way it can be retrieved, by making neural connections. The more connections we make the more information we can store in our brains.
Mr. Martin was talking about the biological process of learning. While his answer may be true, I think it is very clear that we all have different learning styles. Whether we’ve discovered our style of learning yet or not, it is obvious that there are many different styles of learning and it is likely that you prefer one style over another. So what are these different learning styles? The three main learning styles are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (or physical). Watch the video below for more details about each:
Author and speaker, Sarah Gibson, tell us a little more about how to understand individual learning styles. It is vital for teachers and to be able to detect the learning styles of their students in order to understand how their students learn best.
Okay, so what does all of this have to do with classrooms of the future? I believe that classrooms of the future must incorporate our individual learning styles into teaching. There are several possible ways of doing so:
- Create a test that allows us to understand our learning style. This test would be administered at the beginning of each school year and students would be separated into classrooms with individuals alike, and teachers can be consistent with their teaching styles.
- Robot-like teachers. Okay, bear with me here. As Sarah Gibson explained, there are different tricks to understanding individual learning style. While it would be great for teachers to be able to use these tricks to unravel each student’s learning style, this would be extremely time-consuming. Instead, what if we developed a teacher (or some type of technology a teacher could use to quickly analyze the way in which each student learns. The one drawback here is that we run into the problem of students becoming dependent on one learning style.
- Teach students to be versatile learners. Although we may learn better one way rather than another, it is unlikely that every situation in life will allow you to choose which style of teaching is used. In future classrooms, it could be important for us to teach students how to use each style of learning so that students are not tied down to one learning style. How should we do this? I’m not quite sure about this part yet, but I’m sure you guys have some ideas!