Giving Value to Individual Learning Styles

Article excerpt

It's a whole new world we live in today. It may be a bewildering one for many parents and educationists. Almost everything is different from what we grew up with; the kinds of music our children listen and dance to; the instruments that create and carry those kinds of music; the games they play; the language they use; and perhaps even the values they take for granted.

It's a largely technology-driven world. The danger is that technology, instead of being a mere handmaiden of civilization, may become its master and may even lose sight of some basic human processes.

Every child is unique. In real practice, parents and teachers using conventional learning theories and traditional teaching methods tend to overlook or even ignore this basic truth. Learning styles is one aspect of a child's innate uniqueness which we must learn to recognize, acknowledge, and respect. The adjustment that teachers and parents must make will probably be difficult, initially, at least. But the rewards for them and for their students will be well worth the effort.

Recent studies reveal that when teachers develop and expand their instructional methods according to the individual learning styles of their students, there is marked increase in performance and achievement of their students and decrease in discipline problems in as little as six to eight weeks. There are at least 10 other major models or theories on learning styles, but I prefer the Dunn and Dunn Learning styles model for the following reasons: its validity and reliability has been researched and findings published for the past 40 years; and its success has been noted and researched on by over 200 universities worldwide and journals. TURNING HOMES INTO CENTERS FOR LEARNING One challenge for parents in today's world is how to turn their homes into effective centers for learning. To this end, parents must not look just at the content of education but also at the very process of education − the methodologies and tools with which we can help our children attain the fullest realization of their potentials and their dreams

An in-depth understanding of theoretical foundations of learning styles come to the fore. …