The document about VARK learning styles having little to no evidence to back the theory that people learn better when teaching is adapted to their specific learning style was an interesting realization. Although I have never really used these styles, I have often come across them and assumed them to be an intelligent teaching method. One of the bigger realizations here was how much actual research and scientific process there is behind teaching and teaching methods. It is was quite comforting to read and know that there is significant research in the field and that one can adapt teaching based on scientifically proven concepts. Although I was aware of such research I only now realized the ease of application of such research into day to day teaching methods. And that these things can be applied to something as simple as explaining a concept during office hours.
The article about active learning definitely resonated with me as I could relate to the concept of finding learning a lot easier through engaging, active classes rather than just lectures. It also helped me reflect on the way I have often chosen to teach concepts and reminded me that I need to work on having the student(s) work rather than giving explanations. Although explaining concepts verbally and/or with diagrams has worked for me in the past, I can see how adapting this process to involve the student in drawing diagrams and building concepts would be helpful in solidifying knowledge from lectures.
The idea of building on concepts that one is already familiar with is something quite new for me. I hadn’t really thought about the importance of making connections to previously learned concepts in order to learn new ones. In previous teacher-training I have often been told how important examples and metaphors can be in helping a student learn. The explanation for this, however, was rarely mentioned. So it was interesting to understand the reasoning behind the emphasis on connections to previous knowledge. The velcro-example from class today was particular helpful, while also applying the principle itself.