How To Learn – How To Teach

Battle of Hastings, October 14, 1066. Normans won, they had horses.
Battle of Hastings, October 14, 1066. Normans won, they had horses.

Daily Prompt: Learning Style

What’s your learning style? Do you prefer learning in a group and in an interactive setting? Or one-on-one? Do you retain information best through lectures, or visuals, or simply by reading books?

Why do I get the feeling that no matter how I respond to today’s prompt in the time it takes me to say Rumpelstiltskin an email will land in my account saying, “Boy, do we have the thing for you. You can learn a foreign language by just thinking about it.”

Anyway, the prompt.

Regardless of any method, we are all visual learners. Information must be dispensed in such a way you can see it or you must view it in you mind.

Sure one can memorize a set of rules, yet having it illustrated by example or visually will make it stick.

For a moment, think about your most memorable and powerful learning moments. Was not the point driven home by an illustration? Didn’t the instructor draw a memorable picture for you?

Good teachers are the ones who draw mental images. It need not be extensive, the simpler the better. For example if we are trying to recall the Battle of Hastings we might visualize a calendar for the month of October, 1066 and a circle around the 14th. An instructor might draw a visual. Everyone will remember a badly drawn calendar.

You read it. The instructor recites it. The instructor illustrates it. And now builds the historical significance of the event. The date is like creating a file to place other data learned about the Battle of Hastings. You than begin to collect information under the file or picture of a calendar labeled October 14th 1066: William, Harold, English, Normans, and so on.

Now you’re ready to bore friends with useless information and make Brits think you care.

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  1. We all have different learning styles and most people use a combination of styles to learn effectively. I have students who can see the visual and can be shown how to do something but if they don’t hear words to go along with the demonstration, they’re lost.

  2. My most memorable learning experiences come from grade school where the Nuns taught us in less than delicate manner. I learned because I was too fearful of the consequences if I did not learn. Fear is a tremendous motivator. I do not recall any other methods that the Nuns used, visual, auditory, etc… Fear drove us.

  3. Funny – I’m English, but couldn’t have told you when the Battle of Hastings was, beyond 1066. I didn’t much like history at school though, and had some not-so-good history teachers. Perhaps if they’d used more visuals, instead of just giving us lists of dates, and throwing the board rubber (eraser) at us, I’d have remembered more.

Blather away, if you like.

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