Implications of Learning Styles in Instructional Strategies

Article excerpt

Is the idea of allowing your students to eat or doodle and draw while in class preposterousto you? Are you a parent who frowns at your son's practice of studying in bed with loud music and dim lights?Allow me to tell you this. You are not alone.Every year, I receive thousands of such comments from educators, school administrators and parents who are at a loss on how to improve their students or children's study habits. Every year, I tell them the same thing. Let them do what they want.Often I am met with raised eyebrows and incredulous stares. Apparently, they turned to me for sound advice. But really, this is the best advice I have ever given.You see, there are four kinds of perceptual strengths: auditory (hearing), visual (seeing) tactile (touching) and kinesthetic (doing).This means that some students learn new information best when it is presented to them through their ears, their eyes, their hands, or through bodily movement.NEW MINDSETThe key for teachers and parents is recognition: Knowing when a student is exhibiting a personal learning style, and supporting the student appropriately - without prejudicing the contrary learning styles of other students.This is the new mind-set that the LS theory requires of teachers: To appreciate each student as a unique individual, instead of trying to force all students into one fixed, pre-set model.For the past several years, the Center for Learning and Teaching Styles (CLTS) Philippines has been advocating for the implementation of the Learning Styles model in the Philippine classroom with much success.Imagine, in a strict and stringent institution such as the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), learning styles had been proven to work.Major Gismo Agulan, a former professor at the PMA could not believe the effects of LS at first. He said he never thought that a "perceived-to-be left-brain institution" would appreciate global approach in teaching methodologies as proven by their exposure to the learning styles theory.Learning styles works best for all ages. For it is not only children who need to enjoy while learning.Sr. Justine Rosales, DC, former president of the Bicol Higher Education Foundation believes that learning styles approach is also applicable to college students because it makes learning more fun and exciting. …