This topic is in every breath we take. Breathe in then breathe out. That’s contrast. Apples vs. Oranges could be discussed. Good, bad, ying, yang, opposites could all be supported. Not to mention the political, or religious conversations.
None of these light me up like the contrast of how different we are in how we learn. I tell students that I’m amazed how in a classroom where simple instructions are given as many translations or interpretations of the instructions as there are people in the room are possible. I see it daily. And yet somehow learning takes place.
There are the verbal learners. You can hear them a mile away and they feel more secure if they can speak everything out loud! For those students I say, “Do not say everything you think!” And, “Repeat that back to me.”
Next, there are the visual Learners. They stare a look of total absence of cognitive processing unless they can be shown the task at hand through example and illustrations at the least. Don’t speak it, show them! To these folks I say, “Now show me what I just showed you!” They prefer to replace words with pics.
Another group has been named the tactile kinesthetic or hands-on group. If I can touch it, I can learn. If I can’t, don’t waste my time. They get in trouble for touching everything. Often they break things. They are in learning mode. I have to say, “Observe your personal space, do not touch your neighbor or their belongings.” They get in trouble for invading others personal space. But, they are offered a gold mine when they are asked to ‘DO’ a project!
These are the basic three. There are more, such as mathematical, inter social, intrasocial. But for here, these three will suffice for the sake of contrast. Which are you?
None are wrong. None are the only right way. And when a classroom provides opportunity for all 3 to be experienced, more processing takes place. I didn’t say learning. For, really, who can measure that?
It is interesting to view the strengths and weaknesses of each. And yet the group as a whole will think of all aspects of a project when taught how to collaborate and appreciate all different styles. Diversity at its finest!