With Wednesday bringing along the ever so dreaded Mathematics lesson amongst students, a subtraction task was to present a dull response from the students.
Today, the students were presented with a subtraction exercise, with pictures on the worksheet demonstrating items to buy with $1, and then students indicating the change they had.
I asked what the problem an indicatively confused student was that she was having and she replied “ I don’t get it sir, I don’t get money so how do I know how much I have left?”. She was one of the louder students who lost money by calling out in class. So I knew she was a visual learner, always doing well with material based tasks but notably falling slightly behind with other tasks. Without wasting too much time I gathered 2 other students that were having problems of the same kind, not visualizing the money they were spending in the task. So I put them all at a table alone and gave them plastic 5 cent coins. They had not used these before and I said “ Count out 1 dollar as a group in 5 cent pieces”. After this I instructed them to use this $1 in taking turns to calculate their change for each item.
NSWIT Professional Teaching Standards Element 2.2.3 expresses that an effective teacher must:
“Apply practical and theoretical knowledge and understanding of the different approaches to learning to enhance student outcomes” – NSWIT, 2006.
There is no single way to teach, so that must mean there is no one way to learn, right? Well that’s what I believe, strongly! Smith’s Accelerated Learning Framework is the notion that intelligence is modifiable in school, with students identified as learning more effectively through a range of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic techniques. These range from musical stimulation, to mindmapping and physical activity. In application of this knowledge, a teacher can utilise a variety of approaches to learning in order to enhance student outcomes.
As research by Farwell (2010) has found, a variety of teaching techniques and ideas fosters the development of knowledge through confidence in student engagement amongst classroom activities. As a teacher I personally believe that all students provide a mixed array of learning development techniques, which means for a variety of teaching techniques to allow learning to occur in the classroom.
Here are some great resources to find out more about Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic learners and how to tend to their needs in the classroom:
Pedagogies and learning styles: Retrieved from (www-rba.educ.cam.ac.uk/Paper%20PB.pdf)
Constantinidou, F. and Baker, S. (2002). Stimulus modality and verbal learning performance in normal aging. Brain and Language, 82(3), 296–311.
Farwell, T. (2010). Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic Learners. Retrieved from http://school.familyeducation.com/intelligence/teaching-methods/38519.html
Rourke, B., Ahmad S., Collins, D., Hayman-Abello, B., Hayman-Abello, S., and Warriner, E. (2002). Child clinical/pediatric neuropsychology: some recent advances. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 309Ð339.
University of Pennsylvania (2009). Visual Learners Convert Words To Pictures In The Brain And Vice Versa, Says Psychology Study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 10, 2014, fromhttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090325091834.htm