The benefits of knowing your learning style.
We are ALL born like little snowflakes – no two of us are alike! Many parents would be praising the Heavens at this beautiful in-built design fractal!
We have unique tastes in all manner of things, from food and clothing, to music and friends. The list of our personal points-of-difference can, at times, seem endless.
However, there are also many traits that us homo-sapiens possess, that can often be predictable and measurable. Some of these traits are found in the way we process information, any information. This is reflective in the often, unconscious priorities, we give to our subjective interpretation of similar stimuli. Some of these traits often determine how we best process and retain information of all sorts, including the variety of everyday experiences that we are ‘drawn’ to and that are ‘drawn’ to us.
Our internal ‘filing system’ processes and stores information according to our most preferred physical sense. Very often, we will hear, see, smell, touch and sometimes taste things that immediately get stored deep in our psyche for future reference. How many of us can still get triggered by a long forgotten song or drift back to childhood because of a familiar smell? Most of this of course, is unconscious to us. Not deliberate if you will. However, it IS selective and very, very personal. One person’s sound or smell can be completely ignored by others because their particular preference hasn’t been stimulated.
In our work with students, we always test and verify their preferred learning style (PLS) and attempt to incorporate the dominant preference into their learning program. When successfully implemented with a structured learning program, the results can be staggering! The learning occurs almost effortlessly and the learner remembers much more of their content easily. It is true that we ALL use All of our senses most of the time but when you’re using your DOMINANT sense to learn something new, the results can be profound and lasting.
This new paradigm of learning runs contrary to the ‘one size fits all approach’ used in most contemporary educational contexts. It is, in many ways, the polar opposite to the ‘sausage factory’ approach to teaching and learning that was the necessity of an economic paradigm that is increasingly less and less relevant.
It happily co-exists with the latest scientific research on Neuroplasticity. The premise that we CAN learn better when we are taught in a more personal, less homogenised way.