I’m back this week with my second round of research. For those of you who do not know my question, here it is: with this new generation, should we be changing how and what we are teaching in school?
This round I will be focusing on the different types of learning and what that means which incorporates the different ways to teach, as well as the new ways being integrated into our learning. The new teaching ways (which incorporates the new BC curriculum) vs. the old teaching ways. I am really excited for this round and can’t wait to see what I find out!
Firstly, there are 5 main learning types.
- visual (using pictures and images)
- aural (using sound and music)
- verbal ( using words in talking and writing)
- physical/kinesthetic (using hands, body and overall sense of touch)
- logical (use logic and reasoning)
- social (working in groups)
- solitary (working alone)(1)(2)
All students learn differently. Which means how they absorb the information, understands it, and retains it (2). We are commonly categorized in three categories, kinesthetic, visual or auditory learners. Neil Fleming, first adapted VARK in 1987 for comprehending and categorizing students. VARK is an acronym for the three main learning types, with the R standing for reading/writing. VARK is a type of survey that anyone can take to understand how they learn. They clearly state that “VARK is not a learning style. The words learning style are loosely used to describe almost any attribute or characteristic about learning but technically the term refers to all the components that might affect a person’s preferences for learning.” It’s important to understand this, as it puts emphasis on the fact that no one learns just one way, it is not cut and dry.(2)(3)
Here is a video that explains exactly what it is: (4)
One of the newer methods of teaching focuses on understanding the different teaching methods is key. Understanding how to teach in different ways to accommodate all student is what makes an “effective” teacher. Facultyfocus.com believes that using the three ways, direct, discuss and delegate, will have the best results. Direct refers to providing context, like an introduction first, then be clear with the expectations they must meet and the work to be done, as well as having much detail and finally throughout be candid and direct. Discuss refers to having discussions with questions prepared but also an open mind as to where the discussion might go, also making sure everyone has a chance to speak in discussions, therefore having a multiple choice questionnaire so everyone, even if they aren’t comfortable to speak, can express their opinion and finally having students reflect with making their own questions. Delegate refers to shoeing their comprehension, by doing a variety of projects in groups and alone to demonstrate their learning. The most important aspect of all of this is having a mix of all different methods and knowing when to use them. (5)
The government has a clear page for BC new curriculum. On this page it had the main subjects incorporated in the curriculum, how students are assessed, graduation and the core competencies which is the foundations and concepts and content- communication, thinking and personal and social as well as a video to explain6)
Teaching before technology was something I never experienced. The old methods, referred to as “chalk and talk” or “direct instruction” is where the classrooms are a controlled environment, with the teacher talking and students listening. Where, times tables were memorized and lots of homework was given.
Now there is a great debate, and has been for a while, about direct instructions vs inquiry, which is the way kids are more commonly being taught in BC. This particular article refers to how China is still sticking with the old ways and is producing such well performing students.
This article also contradicted my other research saying that there is not a point to specializing lessons to try and accommodate to each learning style and instead spend that time monitoring the ones who may not have understood and explaining.(8)
One of the questions I asked in my survey was:
Would you make changes to the way we are taught if you could? Or do you like and agree with how it is now?
5 out of 11 votes said they like it the way it is, 2 out of 11 said they do not like it and 7 out of 11 said other. (9)
To me this demonstrates the constant struggle of determining what the best way is. I went into this round thinking that there must be an answer, but realized that there just isn’t one. Not yet at least.
Thank you all so much for reading I had a really great time doing this round!