I had the opportunity to sit in a classroom today. As I watched from a distance, I observed many things.
I observed some students attentively listening to the teacher as she wrote information on the board. She was teaching to the visual learners and those visual learners grasped the knowledge and could easily apply it.
What I also saw were others who were fidgety. They whispered to their neighbor. They turned around in their seat. They looked up to the ceiling and even stood up and sat down. Some of these students also had blank stares and were not even looking at what was being presented.
My next assignment was to help walk around and ensure that all the students were able to do the worksheet that the teacher had just spent twenty minutes explaining in front of the classroom. As I walked around, I found that many of the students had not even started the worksheet. They were not engaged in the worksheet that was given to them. I was able to focus on one or two of the students and help them work through the worksheet. However, many of the students were still in need of further help after I left.
Through this experience, I could not help but wonder if children’s learning styles are being respected and if strategies for teaching to their learning style are being incorporated enough into our school system. I left wondering that day, if the outcome in that short amount of time I had in the classroom, could have been different had the teacher had means and assistance to be able to take them outside and show them the same concept in a large motor skill way. Perhaps, several more students would have then been able to grasp the information more naturally and easily.
Now, I recognize I was only able to observe this classroom for an hour that day. I may have found more teaching strategies in other subjects if I had I stayed for the entire day.
However, that one hour of observation did leave me puzzled as to why children with a different learning style, like kinesthetic, are still expected to fully understand concepts in school that are taught to them in a visual way.
Statistically, it has been shown that many of us, including myself, learn so much better when we can actually get our hands on it, apply it, and somehow touch it. I know schools are changing and some of them are incorporating all learning styles but,
- Are we doing it at the necessary rate?
- Are children still coming away with labels that they cannot learn only because of how it is presented to them?
- Are our teachers provided the assistance they need to help all of the varying learning styles in our children?
I personally feel that we need to incorporate more:
- a. project based learning
- b. large motor skill learning
- c. and many more researched methods of teaching into our classrooms as well our home.
I think the confidence in our children will grow and we will help more children embrace their natural love for learning. No labels, no discouragement. Only more confident children knowing that they are smart and intelligent, according to their way of learning.
Click below to see one hands on way I used for teaching spelling words to a kinesthetic (large motor skill and hands on) learner…