Facilitating for Different Learning Styles

Although many may not realize it there are actually many different types of learning. Some students work better under some learning styles better than others and although we cannot completely split up the class room every day we can provide assignments that involve many types of learning.

The diagram below shows the basic learning styles that a student can prefer.

Here we see the many different types of learning from Kinesthetic, or learning through doing, to rhythmic and musical learners. It will obviously be difficult to facilitate for all of these different learning styles but with a little ingenuity it can be done.

Consider these helpful ideas while making lesson plans to insure that all students will have a fufilling learning experience.

1. Vary the instruction methods you use in class. Try to use many styles such as lecture, whole group discussion, role play, simulations, debates, multimedia presentations, and perhaps invite an outside speaker to discuss a topic.

2. Provide students with options. Allow them to pick a writing assignment from a list of topics. Let them choose topics for research papers and other large projects. Create class wide projects that allow each person to focus on something they're interested in, like a newspaper.

3. Connect what students are learning to the real world by providing examples found in everyday life.

4. And finally try to connect your class to other classes your children have. Relating subjects like English and History is easy and provides a richer learning experience for students.

Source: http://712educators.about.com/od/teachingstrategies/a/How-To-Facilitate-Learning.htm

Those were just a few examples of how to really engage all types of students in your classroom. Simple things like that can really improve the educational experience for kids of all ages. It's frustrating to be forced to constantly sit through lectures if they don't help you understand or being put into discussion groups when all you want to do is study alone. Although the class should not have to revolve completely around diversity, there must be some structure, a little bit can really help improve the students' attitude and academic drive.

Here are some more useful sources to help you understand different learning styles and also how to provide opportunities for all of them to be showcased.

http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/strategies/topics/Learning%20Styles/diversity.html

http://www.icicte.org/Proceedings2012/Papers/03-2-Virtanen.pdf

http://www.acdowd-designs.com/sfsu_860_11/LS_OverView.pdf

http://www.eazhull.org.uk/initiatives/KingswoodFS/learning_styles.htm

Edited April 22, 2013
by Rachel Oellig.