Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Learning Styles

I wonder if the fact that we are trying to think of all students (actually all individuals) as one group we are missing some of them? What I mean is, if we are changing our thoughts on education are we going to still be "missing" some of the students?

If people cannot agree on how to raise a child, how can we agree on the best way to change the education system?

I think that we can change things. The only issue that I am trying to figure out is how to make the changes in my classroom reach all the different learning styles. Since people learn by doing, seeing and hearing (basically) I need to find ways to have the activities that I am doing reach these different people. I wonder if the changes to the classroom setting are not including some of these people?

My other question to myself and the others in the group is what to do about the learners who are apethetic? There are going to be people who just don't care about what is going on around them. Do we try to undo nine and sometimes more years of "education" where the person has only learned that they don't want to learn?

I guess these are the things we are trying to answer.



Karl Fisch said...

I think the changes we are talking about will help us do a better job of meeting the needs of all students. Do I think we'll reach 100% of them - no (sorry NCLB). But I do think the constructivist approach has the best chance to meet the needs of the most kids.

As far as what to do about apathetic students, I think we do our best to reach them - and the changes we are talking about will help with that. To answer your specific question - yes, if necessary, we do have to try to undo nine years of education that may not have been the best for those kids. But I think that even if those 9 years were not as good as we would have liked, those students still learned a whole lot and we can build on that - while still trying to do a better job of meeting their needs than was done in the past.

Crosby said...

I think that I agree with Karl - we will probably never reach 100% of the students, but we can probably do better than we are doing right now.

Your post reminded me of something that has bothered me since I started teaching. I find that some of the juniors and seniors who are apathetic in class (fail to participate, etc.) are some of the same kids who participated in class as freshmen. What happens to them between the freshman and senior years?

Hatak said...

Do you think that the kids that become apethetic are the ones that become more concerned about what others are thinking about them and not about what they are doing/learning in school?

Barbara S. said...

My opinion? Yes, kids do care about what others are thinking about them. However, I don’t think that alone is a large contributor to apathy. It would be if “being stupid” was cool, but AHS does a pretty good job recognizing our successful students; i.e., academic letters, National Honor Society, National Merit, and athletic/activity awards. I believe there are a bunch of kids who are apathetic, but their reasons for having a lack of interest in school are varied.

One reason kids in math don't care is because they view themselves as failures. It is acceptable for parents and students to say "I'm not good at math." Well, how many of our students' parents say "I'm not good at reading"? We empower kids when we allow them to construct their understanding of mathematics. If they believe they can do math because I lead them (NOT spoon feed) to a concept, then I have begun to overcome their apathy.

Two, kids are stimulated in just about every aspect of their lives EXCEPT at school. For example, as I was driving to work today I passed a group of kids waiting for the bus to Heritage. I noticed all but one had headphones on. They were not listening in isolation, but carrying on a conversation while listening voice message? I don't intend use the technology we are learning just to do a "song and dance routine" to entertain my students, but we have to understand their lives are (and always have been) saturated with technology.

‘nough said…