The first part shows an analysis of me as a learner and the second part shows an analysis of my students learning style and how I, as their teacher can optimize their learning experience.
Part I: Myself as a Learner
I. In my case, sociological elements like the presence of an authority affect me. I prefer to learn by listening to my teacher talk about the information.
II. Physiological elements
- Perceptual Elements
a) Auditory – I prefer listening to teachers. I see them as authorities. DE poses a problem for me since I have to understand modules on my own. There are times when I wonder if I construct ideas correctly. I prefer the conventional classroom type where teachers and peers can immediately correct me whenever I don’t hit the correct notes.
b) Visual – I am comfortable with reading.
c) Tactual – (Webster: tactile means or of affecting the sense of touch) I am not a tactual learner
d) Kinesthetic – I don’t have problems with this. I can learn by simply reading books and discussions in our online fora.
2. Time of Day – Some are nocturnal or night owls while some are early birds. I noticed that this element changes as one grows older. When I was younger, I can spend the whole night awake reviewing for exams. Now that I am older, my energy level dwindles at 10pm. Perhaps, my other responsibilities consume my energy.
3. Intake – I am a skinny mommy who doesn’t eat a lot. This poses a problem because I don’t have much reserved energy. Now that I am back to school, I try to eat as much as I can so I can have fuel during my study time.
4. Mobility – for someone like me who loves to walk around, DE gives me the freedom to take breaks whenever I want.
Below is a UPOU research monograph by Lizamarie Campoamor-Olegario.
The findings of the study showed that distance education students… The general learning style profile also reflects the characteristics of adult learners, who the distance learners are – analytic, internally motivated, less conforming, and prefer less authority.”
If this is the case, then I might encounter some difficulties as a distance learner because I am very conforming and prefer the presence of authority during a study session.
I opted not to include the other stimuli that were cited by Dunn since they do not pose problems on my learning. I can learn with any kind of environment. I can focus when kids are noisy playing or when the room is so quiet. The support I get from my family gives me more than enough motivation to pursue this PTC program.
Part II. Myself as a teacher
To be an effective teacher I have to use a variety of approaches to a lesson. Each student has his / her own learning style. Some are strong in one element while the others find the other styles more helpful. I must be sensitive with these differences and take them into consideration when planning my lessons.
- Physiological elements
a. Auditory – For my auditory students, I should use multi media like recordings and AVR
b. Visual – I should use visual aids, PowerPoint presentations with pictures, sounds and other effects (However, I must maintain . balance. If I make it too attractive, the students may forget all about the lesson and simply focus on the effects of my presentation
c. Tactual – (Webster: tactile means or of affecting the sense of touch) A simple motherly pat on the shoulder of my student who is struggling in class will make a big difference.
d. Kinesthetic – In my HRM laboratory, I ask students to create a business theme like a catering business. They act as businessmen by contributing their own money to buy the needed materials for our catered party. They act as chefs by cooking and preparing the food. They act as accountants by making a detailed accounting of expenses and income. We all enjoy the laboratory class, because in the end, we act as the guests who will feast on everything we prepared.
Time of Day
- I create a relaxed ambience in the first morning classes which starts at 7:30. I noticed that students are a bit tired perhaps due to travel from their house to school. For a good day’s start, pressure is not allowed in early morning session.
- Late morning classes are my “surprised quiz” hours. It is a time when I notice students slackening in our discussions. Because they fear “surprised quizzes and graded recitations”, they tend to listen to our discussion so they can prepare. Surprised quizzes are administered randomly.
- Late afternoon classes, is napping time for my students. Their minds sleep with their eyes open wide. My solution? Afternoon is joke time. I incorporate jokes in the lesson. Everyone is allowed to laugh “Para magising ang natutulog sa ingay ng tawanan.”
Intake – I am very lenient when it comes to eating in class. I understand that food intake influences performance in school. This is supported by the UPOU Research Monograph “Learning Styles of High- and Low-Performing Undergraduate Students in Distance Education by Lizamarie Campoamor-Olegario. I agree with her statement “For face-to-face discussion, eating should be permitted in classrooms to accommodate the needs of the low performers who prefer high intake.”
Mobility – I have heard of teachers who allow minimal breaks. This may be effective for students who are hyperactive or “di mapakali.” They go out of classrooms and loiter outside on the pretext of going to the comfort room. I as a teacher must be sensitive in determining when my students get too tired with a day’s work. I should allow little breaks to avoid burn out. But I must be extra strict with “makukulit” or hyper students.
Psychological Elements – learners may either be analytic, global, impulsive or reflective.
How can a single teacher approach the variety of learning styles of the so many students in her class?
Below we could see how Dunns differentiated global from analytic learners.
“Global learners prefer to work in an environment with soft lighting, informal seating, mobility and sound. Analytic learners prefer bright light, formal seating and little or no snacks.”
MY QUESTIONS IS: ??????????
How can we as teachers in conventional classroom set-ups pedagogically approach the variety in styles of our, let’s say, 40 students. Is it feasible, considering the fact that we handle too many students at the same time in a single classroom?
Environmental stimuli are not so much of a problem for a teacher because school administrators plan the overall set up of the classrooms. We, teachers have to manage the set up of the classroom that was provided by the school.
I noticed that there are students who work well with peers while others prefer to be alone. With my students’ sociological differences, I must plan activities that would allow them to choose whether to work alone or in groups.
Students differ in the way they psychologically process ideas. Some may form perspectives that are quite different from my own. As their teacher, I must not grade them according to their conformity to my own perspectives. I must be open-minded. Anyway, teaching is learning. I can also learn from my students. There is no room for pride if I want to continuously learn from my vocation.
Lizamarie Campoamor-Olegario, “Learning Styles of High- and Low-Performing Undergraduate Students in Distance Education