Change your style of learning!

Well, sport shoes are not actually appropriate for a ball in an embassy, are they? Some styles of learning also don’t fit some disciplines. Therefore it’s really important not to forget about other methods and make ours more creative!

Easy steps and useful tips

Before we try to change our style, we should find out its weak points. The best thing we can do is to confront our experiences with the classification of styles of learning. One of the articles describes the model created by Richard Fedler and Linda Silverman and we will base on it.

With the characteristics of our style of learning we can identify its defects and try to eliminate them. A very balanced attitude towards learning is crucial, both for teachers and students.

How to learn effectively?

According to the Fedler’s and Silverman’s classification described in the article "Styles of learning", there are four dimensions of learning and each one has two opposite sides.

Sensory style – people attached to this style have a tendency towards conservatism and they care too much about mere facts. Their creativity and adaptive abilities suffer a bit. One needs to learn various theories apart from data and support them with a selected bunch of facts.

Intuitive style – too strong attachment toward theories and intuition results in omitting details and hard fact. Users of this style should practise learning by heart, simply.

Visual style – a text is still a basic tool for info transmission. Too strong concentration on graphic design lowers the efectiveness of learning. To eliminate this problem one should focus on taking notes and on saying aloud the things he has to learn.

Verbal style – graphic representation makes the flow of information easier. Diagrams, tables and schemes will make us understand the things more quickly. If we have some trouble with using pictures, we should try to visualise our thoughts. Let’s draw, group concepts, create our own diagrams!

Active style – active people make decisions too early, without thinking them over. To eliminate this problem, we should exercise our concentration and control; before we start our speech, let’s sit down, think the thing over or even create a list of advantages and disadvantages. Or maybe mind mapping can be an useful idea?

Reflective style – too much thinking without any action. Reflective students should become engaged in group activities and collective decisions. It is really good to create an opportunity to practise the knowledge we have!

Sequential style – sometimes an action taken step by step is essential, sometimes it makes no sense at all. Before we start doing all the small tasks, we should ask ourselves about the meaning of the whole process. Should we focus on all the details? Is it a way towards our aim?

Linking style – by noticing only the general meaning, we can miss the details and hard facts. It’s like a need to run when we can hardly walk. To eliminate the problem, we need time and calm. We should care about the sequence of actions and we can try to explain our motives to us. For example in math, when we have a correct result, but the way towards it is not clear, we should start it all from the beginning in order to understand things better.

How to teach

Sometimes we have to become a teacher: we give a speech, make a presentation or simply explain something in an usual conversation. To be understood, we should take into account the fact that our audience consists of users of various styles. Our performance has to be balanced and based on different styles of learning.

A good presentation should:

By understanding our style of  learning, we can learn more effectively and communicate more easily, both in everyday life and in business situations.

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