Learning Styles


05 Aug
05Aug

STYLE

Kolb found that it is the combination of how we perceive and

how we process that forms the uniqueness of our own learning style,

our most comfortable way to learn.  McCarthy


 

Basic Information

The concept of "learning styles", in the broadest sense, refers to how well a particular person learns under specific conditions.  Time of day, noise levels, room temperatures, and structure all impact upon the effectiveness of learning (Dunn and Dunn).  The preference for the mode of learning --auditory, visual, tactile-kinesthetic-- also differs with individuals (CITE).  Mode may also differ for an individual depending upon the subject area, e.g., auditory in reading, visual in math.  Styles for processing thinking, e.g., concrete, abstract, sequential, and random (Gregorc); feeling, thinking, intuition, and sensing (Hanson, Strong, and Silver); or dynamic, innovative, common sense, and analytic (McCarthy) also impact upon learning.  Right brain/left brain research (McCarthy) should be considered.


Research substantiates that how a teacher learns, for the most part, is how he/she teaches (Hartsog).  This bears directly upon school success. For instance, if the class is mostly visual and the teacher is auditory there will be an input mismatch. If the teacher

 

teaches predominately at the sensing/feeling levels and neglects the thinking area the classroom instruction will be direct recall and inference with the teacher being the giver of knowledge or the Asage on stage.@  However, if the teacher focuses on the thinking areas students will function better at higher order thinking levels and perform better on nationally normed tests.  Ideally, the learning style of every student would be included regularly and support given on developing the weaker processing skills.


A newer focus that interfaces with style, stems from Gardener=s work in multiple intelligences (musical/rhythmic, body/kinesthetic, logical/mathematical, intrapersonal, interpersonal, visual/spatial, naturalists and verbal/linguistic).  Curriculum integration (Jacobs, Fogarty) that  addresses using the seven basic multiple intelligences and style can be facilitated through cooperative learning structures to maximize learning for each student.  This is especially crucial for the child having difficulty in school or is an at-risk student, and for initiatives such as block-scheduling and high schools that work.  The major areas of Alearning styles@ are noted below.

 

Major Learning Styles


GREGORC

 

McCARTHY

 

HANSON/

STRONG/SILVER

 

DESCRIPTORS

 

Concrete/Sequential

 

Common Sense (#3)

 

Sensing-Feelers

 

Ordered/Practical/Doer

 

Abstract/Sequential

 

Analytic (#2)

 

Sensing-Thinkers

 

Facts/Knowledge/Thinker

 

Abstract/Random

 

Innovative (#1)

 

Intuitive-Thinkers

 

Imaginative/Perceptive/Social

 

Concrete/Random

 

Dynamic (#4)

 

Intuitive-Feelers

 

Intuitive/Trial and Error

 

DUNN and DUNN

 

STIMULI

 

ELEMENTS

 

ENVIRONMENTAL

 

SOUND


LIGHT


TEMPERATURE


DESIGN


EMOTIONAL

 

MOTIVATION


PERSISTENCE


RESPONSIBILITY


STRUCTURE



SOCIOLOGICAL


PEERS


SELF


PAIR


TEAM


ADULT


VARIED



PHYSICAL


PERCEPTUAL


INTAKE


TIME


MOBILITY



PSYCHOLOGICAL


ANALYTIC/GLOBAL


HEMISPHERE PREFERENCE


IMPULSIVE/ REFLECTIVE

 

Modality Areas Assessed by CITE *


auditory numerical               auditory linguistics               social group              expressive: oral

visual numerical                   visual linguistics                   social individual       expressive: written

                                                             auditory-visual-tactile-kinesthetic                                    

*CITE is a public domain instrument.  Mr. Frank B. Mann, III, Wyoming County Assistant Superintendent of Schools,  has developed a computer program and a classroom analysis guide which is available free (disk/print cost only) when accompanied with training.

 

 
 

Instructional Implications

The following three programs were selected for further review because of their validity, availability, cost, and direct classroom application.  Although Dunn and Dunn=s work is definitely school/life related, it lacks the teacher/student interface provided by McCarthy and Hanson, Strong and Silver.  Gregorc is basically an adult instrument, however Butler provided an excellent guide for classroom application.  Other programs that are content specific or rely on colors, shapes, and other such attributes do not have the general application of McCarthy and Hanson, Strong and Silver.  McCarthy relates  left/right brain integration with processing and perception and provides specific techniques for lesson planning.  Hanson, Strong and Silver assess teachers, students, and management and offer strategies for implementing in a total program.  Their work also provides a strong foundation for building school relationships, direct relevance to job skills, and school success.  The CITE assesses different modalities than the other tests, is free, and has a classroom focus.  It also provides teaching and learning guidelines.


McCarthy=s 4-MAT system advocates lessons being taught using all four processing areas and addresses both left and right brain in each quadrant.   The following diagram shows how this is applied to a lesson.

Concrete Experience





Active                                                                                     Reflective

Experimen-                                                                        Observation

     tation

                                         





Abstract Conceptualization


The preferred approach in RESA-I is CITE and Hanson, Strong, and Silver.  The learning profile score can be profiled with the teaching style profile to compare how the teacher learns vs. how he/she teaches.  (Quite often they are the same in all four areas, but usually true in the dominant area.) 


 

Teaching scores can be further plotted to facilitate setting goals.  The interpretation sheet matching teaching preferences to classroom environment, activities, and other components of instruction.  The following is a sample of a teacher=s preferred learning and teaching style plot and how it relates to the classroom implementation chart.  Note that the teacher=s major strength is ST (Sensing Thinking) and the least preferred area is NF (Intuitive Feeling).  SF (Sensing Feeling) is the second highest and NT (Intuitive Feeling) is next to last.  Both of the highs include Sensing, thus a strong style. 


A chart explaining the strengths is on the back of each test.  A summary of some of the sensing thinking (ST) information follows the profile.

 

Mastery

Sensing-Thinkers


TEACHERS MAY BE CHARACTERIZED AS:

Trainers; Information givers; Instructional managers

LEARNERS MAY BE CHARACTERIZED AS:

CURRICULUM OBJECTIVES EMPHASIZE:

SETTING (Learning Environment) EMPHASIZE:

OPERATIONS (Thinking and Feeling Processes) INCLUDE

Observing; Describing; Memorizing; Translating; Categorizing

TEACHING STRATEGIES INCLUDE:

Command; Task; Graduated difficulty; Programmed instruction; New American Lecture

STUDENT ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:

Work books; Drill & Repetition; Demonstrations; Competitions

EVALUATION PROCEDURES INCLUDE:

Objective tests; Checklists; Behavioral objectives; Use of mechanical devices; Demonstrations of specific skills; Criterion referenced tests; Normed tests; Teacher tests


A teaching profile can also be plotted that shows intra-individualized differences.The following are strategies directly relate to the four processing areas:

Sensing Feeling (SF): Reciprocal Learning -- Teacher

   Helper Doer (Pairs Check)

Intuitive Feeling (NF): Metaphorical Expression

   (Analogy Organizer)

Intuitive Thinking (NT): Mystery Strategy (CLUES)

   AEvent, Evidence, Explanation, and Evaluation@

   (The Video Journal of Education;  Vol. 5, #2.)

Sensing Thinking (ST): COPE: Collect Organize

   Process Explain*


*These strategies are taught on the video and are further explained in the handout.  For example COPE uses organizers at Organize data and may use them at other steps, and the Mystery strategy has the option to use them in the last three E=s.


For schools that plan to relate style to the total school environment, the Management style test is available.  When matched with the cumulative style data of teachers, it serves as a way to solve school related problems and set goals.


The final instrument is the CITE.  It is the only  instrument that measures how students learn math vs. how they learn reading; as noted earlier, expressive and grouping preferences are also assessed and noted.  (Several commercial batteries incorporate the CITE.)


A master copy of the test and administration instructions follow this discussion.  A free computer program is available when disk and mailing costs are provided. (Apple and IBM versions are available).  A comprehensive multimedia training program, TASKS, is available for middle and high schools.  It has applied lessons developed by Frank and Shelia Mann based upon years of research and experience.  Hartsog and Mann have completed over 15 years of research using the CITE.  Parent programs, developmental guidance, and classroom instruction as well as student profiles have been successfully used in many states and various programs such as Title I, Special Education, High Schools That Work, and preventative programs.

 

 

 
 

Techniques/Technology/Resources

Techniques

Learning style has again become a focus in education.  Current trends B problem-based learning, the active learner approach, multiple intelligences, and cooperative learning B all recognize the uniqueness of both teacher and learner.  The power and potential of honoring and using the diversity is just beginning to emerge.

Technology

The CITE inventory is available on disk, for both Apple and IBM formats.

Resources

CITE inventory available on disk.

TASK Program For Implementing Style incorporates the CITE and includes lessons.

Books

Hanson, Strong, and Silver:

Questioning Styles and Strategies            Teaching Styles and Strategies

 The TLC Learning Preference Inventory

McCarthy: The 4MAT System: Teaching to Learning Styles with Right/Left Mode Techniques.

Video Tapes

The Video Journal of Education: Learning Differences, Vol 4, #1.

The Video Journal of Education: Instructional Strategies for Greater Student Achievement, Vol 5, #2.

Other

The Workshop Wizard Notebook has a listing of web sites and articles regarding using technology in the classroom.

Evaluation

Evaluation of the teaching style in the classroom  uses lesson plans or observation.  For students, the assessment instruments evaluate styles.  A student checklist or metacognitive activity will encourage student use of various styles and processing skills.  The ultimate evaluation of using style includes students being more mature, learning more and better, and grades improving.

 

 
 

            BRAIN DOMINANCE

 

Brain dominance often is considered in relation to style.  The following is a brief listing of learning attributes of each hemisphere.  Those who have whole or integrated thinking respond equally at both.



Left


Right


Intellectual

Names

Verbal

Sequential

Facts

Analytic

Talking

Writing

Multiple Choice

Objective

Planned

Structured

Authority Hierarchy

Reserved

Doesn=t Interpret         Body Language

Structured by              Environment

Logical

Single Tasks

1 Variable Research


Rarely Uses               Metaphors and            Analogies

Auditory/Visual


Intuitive

Faces

Pictures

Random

Hypotheses

Synthesis

Drawing

Manipulatives

Open Ended

Subjective

Spontaneous

Flexible

Collegial

Free

Interprets Body           Language

Self Acting


Intuitive

Multi-tasks

Multi-variable              Research

Frequently Uses         Metaphors and        Analogies

Movement and         Action

 

LEARNING STYLE vs MULTIPLE INTELLIGNECES

 

Learning Style is:

   $ exhibiting a tendency toward

   $ learning in a specific direction

   $ something someone uses to solve problems

Intelligence is:

   $ a capacity in an area of knowledge

   $ an ability in an area of knowledge

   $  the ability to find and solve problems and create       products of value in one=s culture (Gardner)

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

ADMINISTERING THE  CITE 

 

Instructions  

Explain:

1 is low, or not like you; 4 is most like you; 2 is a little like you; 3 is somewhat like you.


                                                                                                             LIKE ME

                                                                                               MOST LEAST


1.  When I make things for my studies, I remember what I 

     have learned better.



4



3



2



1


2.  Written assignments are easy for me.


4


3


2


1


Instruct students to read each of the 45 questions and circle one number: 1, 2, 3, or 4, after each question.


After all the questions are answered numbers need to be transferred to the score sheet (older students can do this).  The rating (1-4) given to each question is placed by that number on the score sheet, totaled, then multiplied by the number indicated (see page 11).


VISUAL LANGUAGE                                                          VISUAL NUMERICAL


  5 --- __________                                                                 9 --- __________

13 --- __________                                                               17 --- __________

21 --- __________                                                               25 --- __________

29 --- __________                                                               33 --- __________

37 --- __________                                                               41 --- __________

Total  _____ x 2 = _____ (Score)                         Total  _____ x 2 = _____ (Score)



Plot the scores on the individual score sheet by coloring in the bars to equal each total.  Note major and minor scores and those of negligible use (see page 12). 

---------Minor--------------      ----Major----


                                       10   12   14  16 18   20   22 24   26  28   30  32  34   36  38 


































Visual Language
































Visual Numerical
































Auditory Language
































 

The following sample from the interpretation sheet offers an explanation regarding learning and how to teach (see pages 13-15). 


 

                   Visual Linguistics


This is the student who learns well from seeing words in boxes, on the chalkboard, charts or workbooks.  He may write words down that are given to him orally in order to learn by seeing them on paper.  He remembers and uses information better if he has read it.


 

            Teaching Techniques


This student will benefit from a variety of books, pamphlets and written materials on several levels of difficulty.  Given some time alone with a book, he may learn more than in class.  Make sure important information has been given to him on paper or that he takes notes if you want him to remember specific information.


 

Lastly, a teacher=s classroom chart is provided to assist in planning for every student (see page 16). 

 

                                                     C.I.T.E. CLASS ANALYSIS

                                                            By Frank B. Mann, III

 

GROUP________________





Name


COGNITIVE


SOCIAL


EXPRESS


VL


VN


AL


AN


KT


IN


GR


OR


WR


Bill


36


36


32


28


22


32


36


24


32


Sue


20


32


28


12


36


26


24


32


32


Mary


32


38


24


22


16


30


30


38


18


Kama


18


40


34


14


20


28


18


32


18

 

Note: If read horizontally, every student is viewed individually.  If read vertically, the class profile in that area is shown.  (Bold major; small negligible use)

Tip: It is helpful to list the teacher=s score last, knowing teachers usually teach the way they learn.  Students needing alternative methods will be more readily seen. If the scores indicating strengths are highlighted in green and the scores indicating negligible use are highlighted in pink, the patterns will be more readily seen.

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