In schools today, many teachers face many obstacles which impede learning. Items such as unavailability of materials to home situations which teachers have no control over and the fact that learning is usually one of the last things on children's minds when they come to school. However, a vast majority of teachers who face behavior problems in the classroom overlook one of the most valuable facets of educational knowledge they learn in teacher education programs, Learning Styles. In the following article we will examine three different types of learning styles and how teachers can use these styles to better control and serve their classrooms.
The first style is auditory learning. Auditory learning occurs by children listening to information which is conveyed by teachers. Typically, a teacher may stand in front of the classroom or walk around the classroom, all the while speaking the information which they intend their students to learn. This style is good for those students who like to listen to an explanation of information and follow along with it as teacher explains a body of knowledge. Teachers can use this style to be most effective in establishing a classroom environment in which the teacher is the ruler. The teacher's authority is seldom challenged because the teacher leaves very little room for students to voice their thoughts on the information.
The second style is that of visual learning. Visual learning occurs by children learning through what they see. Usually, a teacher will draw diagrams on a board, use posters or other items such as an overhead projector to display information. While the teacher may speak about the information presented, the primary method of learning is by seeing the information which is to be learned. Teachers may use this type of learning to stimulate discussion between the teacher and students giving students something to refer to when initiating a discussion.
The final style is tactile/kinesthetic learning. This type of learning occurs when students take part in classroom activities. Teachers will construct directions and allow students to form groups or using preformed groups, will have students complete an activity. The main objective is to have students learn the desired information by doing an exercise which contains the information to be conveyed. Teachers can use this style as a means to control a very active group of students. With the structured activities, teachers can use this type of learning to give students a chance to expend some pent up energy while learning is still taking place.
While many teachers today grapple with the troubles of everyday school life, their students suffer. Teachers are faced with many factors which are beyond their control, the influences of home life and the streets. Yet, when faced with these challenges in the school setting, many teachers give up and let their classrooms become just as chaotic as the environments students are trying to escape. If teachers wish to understand their students and best capture their interest, it has to begin first by addressing the way children best receive the information teachers provide them. These learning styles are the way to get into a child's world. So I ask, "How do you learn best?"