Have you seen the Dominoes commercial where a group of guys are sitting around eating pizza; one with a big nose, the other with a big mouth, and the last one with big ears. They are all discussing the same thing…a cheesy pizza…but each of them are filtering it through their biggest sensory mode. The guy with the big nose appreciates the smell, the guy with the big mouth appreciates the taste, and the guy with the big ears appreciates the sound. It’s a brilliant analogy for learning styles.
What if you were the guy with the big mouth, but were forced to focus on what the pizza smelled or sounded like. Would you enjoy it as much? Would you get as much out of the experience of eating a pizza? What if, when the discrepancy was noticed, the big nosed & big eared people sat you down and made you continually repeat smelling it or listening to it…taking away from your precious ‘tasting it’ time? Would you eventually ‘catch on’? Would your mouth eventually shrink, and your nose eventually grow? Or would you learn to dislike pizza and avoid it? School, for my daughter, became something to avoid. A rigid and mismatched application of one particular learning style above her own.
Here are a few links worth following! Understanding each of these ideas about “learning styles” has been invaluable to me as a parent and homeschooler!
“Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic Learners”
or…how do you and your child learn best? By seeing and visualizing it? By hearing and listening to it being spoken? Or by getting hands on, using your hands and/or movement to work and figure things out?
a quick excerpt:
“Approximately 20 to 30 percent of the school-aged population remembers what is heard; 40 percent recalls well visually the things that are seen or read; many must write or use their fingers in some manipulative way to help them remember basic facts; other people cannot internalize information or skills unless they use them in real-life activities such as actually writing a letter to learn the correct format.”
“The Natural Genius of Children”
a quick excerpt:
“Every child is a genius according to the original meanings of the word “genius,” which are: “to give birth” (related to the word genesis) and “to be zestful or joyous,” (related to the word genial)Essentially, the real meaning of genius is to “give birth to the joy” that is within each child. Every child is born with that capacity. Each child comes into life with wonder, curiosity, awe, spontaneity, vitality, flexibility, and many other characteristics of a joyous being. It is imperative that we, as educators and parents, help preserve these genius characteristics of children as they mature into adulthood, so those capacities can be made available to the broader culture at a time of incredible change.”
a quick excerpt:
“The theory of multiple intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. It suggests that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, is far too limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults. These intelligences are:
Linguistic intelligence (“word smart”):
Logical-mathematical intelligence (“number/reasoning smart”)
Spatial intelligence (“picture smart”)
Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (“body smart”)
Musical intelligence (“music smart”)
Interpersonal intelligence (“people smart”)
Intrapersonal intelligence (“self smart”)
Naturalist intelligence (“nature smart”)
Here’s what I love about reading these articles. They all recognize and appreciate that people have different learning styles that are entirely unique and valid. On the flip side, to me it points out that everyone has a learning difference when filtered through other modes of learning. My husband is a brilliant Logical-mathmatical, sequential, auditory learner. He breezed through school without a thought of LD. I, however, am a spatial, non-sequential, visual learner. I struggled through school and probably would have been diagnosed with a LD if they had tested more way back then. If school had been tailored to my style of learning, the tables would have been flipped and HE would have been the one labelled with a LD. Seriously…in my school, the history classes that I struggled with in high school would have been Art History classes (that I excelled at in college!), and my husband and art are like vinegar and water.
Wouldn’t it be great if more schools could accomodate more learning differences (and not in a ‘Special Ed’ LD kind of way!)? I forsee a school with kids grouped according to their learning style and multiple intelligences. For instance, the topic of Geography:
People in the Naturalist class could be learning by placing animals in their habitats all over the world. People in Interpersonal class could be learning by exploring the cultures of the world and relating to that. People in the body-kinesthetic class could be learning by jumping, country by country, all over a huge map on the floor. People in the logical-mathmatical class could be learning by figuring out how many miles between different places in the world. Etc., etc. That’s a school I’d happily send my kids to!
Filed under: Learning Differences |