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sâmbătă, octombrie 21, 2006

Learning styles

In the chapter Classroom Practice: Enhancing and Extending Learning Styles Through Computers, Karen Yeok-Hwa Ngeow discusses three principles regarding learning styles, and after that, presents some suggestions on how to apply, when planning and designing activities, these principles that are meant to facilitate learning as well as teaching. According to Ngeow, these three principles are:
"Principle 1: Learners who are more conscious of their learning styles make better use of learning opportunities. [...]
Principle 2: Learners learn better when they are provided with learning opportunities that enhance and extend their learning preferences. [...]
Principle 3: Learners work better with new learning styles when they are given guided opportunities to practice them." (pp. 302-303)
Most of the chapter, though, focuses on suggestions and practical activities on how to apply these principles. The author argues that, in order to enhance students' learning, not only the teacher, but also the students themselves should become aware of their own learning styles. These are differenciated and discussed in the article according to the "multiple intelligences " theory of Gardner, cited by Ngeow (p. 306). Therefore a great emphasize is given to presenting how software can be integrated and used for different learning styles.
I found interesting how in most of the proposed activities, not only students are they allowed to accomplish tasks according to their favorite learning style, but they also need, as part of the activity, to reflect and give feedback on which task/activity they found most comfortable with and suited for their prefered learning style. This article is one of my favorites, not only because it's clear, but also because it offers a lot of practical ideas, not just plain theory and research, on how to help students identify their learning style and activities which address each of them. I also agree with my colleagues in saying that, even though the softwares suggested might be outdated, the rationale behind their use and the MI theory still remain valid. The only two issues I see in applying them are strictly pragmatic in nature: how easy/difficult would be to purchase and/or implement these softwares in schools with low financial possibilities and how can teachers fit such time consuming, although very instructive, activities in syllabi filled with new material to cover each lesson and in which the assesment methods are mainly grammar based. Unfortunately, such cases exist and teachers need to make sure students are, first of all, prepared for quizes and exams.

1 Comments:

Blogger Juhi Kim said...

Yes, I agree with your idea. This paper contains several application of how to use technology in the classroom. We all agree technology can help teaching and learning but after that, always same question comes to the teacher, "HOW" to use them. In the point of view, I liked this article, too.

24 octombrie, 2006 00:37  

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