Learning styles in the classroom

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Morgan, Lorraine
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 1995
One of the major problems facing the educational system today is one of optimizing the learning of each individual student. Many researchers and educators in the field of education believe that the educational system is succeeding with only some of the students. They do not believe that the educational system is as effective as it could be and should be for all students. They believe for an educational system to be effective it must be responsive to the needs of the individual student. They do not believe this can happen by simply changing the curriculum, or by providing separate help for some students, or by increasing the length of the school day, or by decreasing the class load of teachers. Many researchers believe that attention to the learning style of a student is important in making learning and instruction more responsive to the needs of the individual student. They differ however on how to use learning styles within the classroom. Rita and Ken Dunn believe teachers should identify the learner's preferred learning style and then modify their approach to teaching to match the student's learning style. Other researchers such as Bernice McCarthy believe that all students should be exposed to all major learning styles. She does not believe in identifying the student's learning style and then teaching to that style. It is important for teachers to be knowledgeable about the various learning style theories developed by Carl Jung, David Kolb, Bernice MCCarthy, Isabel Briggs Myers and Katherine Briggs and others. As teachers we need to be aware of and understand the wide variety of learning style theories and to accept the fact that all children do not fit neatly into one learning style. The "key" to an effective education is to provide a flexible learning environment, one which does not favor anyone learning style and does not expect all students to learn in the same way. A learning environment should be structured so that each student has an opportunity to explore and discover their best learning style. The lesson plans and learning centers presented in the second section of this project serve as examples of how easy it can be to design a program that will help each student to develop their learning skills in the best possible way. This project is based on the belief that we are all different; we all have our own unique ways of learning therefore attention to learning styles is important. However attending to learning styles means much more than individualizing education. By attending to learning styles we are honoring and respecting the diversity of the learning styles of the students. We are also promoting equality in education by not choosing who will succeed and who will not. All students are being giving an equal opportunity to learn.
vi, 97 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Learning, Psychology of , Language arts (Elementary) -- Lesson planning , Ocean -- Study and teaching (Elementary)