Learning Style

23 Apr

You can tell from the following how busy I am, and how tired of the sleep–>study–>work–>sleep that is my life right now.  This post is kind of all over the place–sorry ’bout that.  But I suppose it proves my point of what learning style I am–and provides you some entertaining reading material.  Just 10 more days until my big final.  And only 3 until work returns to normal.  So it can’t be too much longer until my posts become more consistent.  I can do it!

You’ve probably heard that there are different learning styles.  Anyone trying to educate knows to accommodate visual and auditory learners.  But did you know there’s a third learning style?  It’s kinesthetic/tactile.  Ugh–does anyone know how to spell that word?  It shows my point exactly.  No one knows how to spell it, because it is the forgotten one–learning based on movement.

And in all my years of schooling, I never realized that was my style.  I knew I wasn’t really an auditory learner.  And visual fit me only so much.  In my younger years I HATED (boring, tedious, detail-oriented, dry, slow) math so much that I didn’t realize the act of writing down and solving problems was actually the best way for me to remember how to do them.  And I was so busy writing out physics, biochem, genetics kind of stuff (in front of the TV no less) that I didn’t know it was the act of physically writing the information that was helping me test so well in those subjects.

It was my own animal anatomy self-study (for vet school at Saint George’s) that first clued me partially into the act of writing and drawing the info to recall it better.  I found that staring at pictures and labels was not all that helpful–especially when there was such a high volume of material!  I did better if I looked at the labeled picture, and then tried to draw it from memory.  And then “corrected” my own picture.  I could visualize my own labeled pictures and remember the corrections much more readily than any notes I was looking at.  But I still wasn’t really clued in to my learning style because I didn’t know it existed.

The GRE demanded writing a lot of things out, so that didn’t really clue me in either.  It was this current class that really got me thinking.  I read my notes, then re-wrote them from memory.  Which also helped the pesky problem of order and organization of notes.  In undergrad, it would seriously bother me if my professor (practically every animal science prof!) just jotted notes all sloppy, or skipped around in information, or forced me to cross things out or draw arrows to forgotten info, all ugly.  I could barely LOOK at such sloppy notes, let alone study them.  And sometimes I would re-copy them, but never from memory–just look at the ugly, and write them neater.  I guess a little OCD snuck in there to impede me every now and again.

In this particular class, there were no pictures to know and no problems to solve.  It didn’t require writing anything out at all, and it was the first time I had studied this way.  And it was sooooooooo much easier.  Not to mention my notes are organized in a way I like, and look nice too.  When I mentioned to my mom (best teacher in the world) that the physical act of writing things seemed to help me learn best, she said that was a kinethetic learning style.  I guess she’d known of it all along.

I tried to take some learning style quizzes online to confirm this, but the results aren’t all that accurate.  Mostly because I’m also an introvert with an attention span.  I guess most kinesthetic learners can’t hold still, aren’t able to pay attention, and like a lot of group work.  And they prefer to mulitask, listen to music while they learn, or otherwise pull their brain in another direction.  The last totally describes me, but the other factors really don’t.  But I know I’m a kinesthetic learner.  And I guess it makes sense–I don’t think I act out (maybe I did when I was younger?) but I would hate to be chained to a desk all day.  I like sports and being active.  My best memories of school were when we got to go outside to read or of doing creative projects.  And though I have always talked too much, I never have liked group work.  When it comes to my grades–I want to be in control of them, not dependent on other people–especially in college!  Blending 2 busy schedules?  Nearly impossible.

Tactile learning is the most random, underrepresented, and un-accomodated type too–of course.  I only wish I had known this when I took a billion chemistry credits (stupid reagents) or for animal nutrition (a class I should have done way better in, because I am very interested in the subject matter).

There are 3 learning style catagories, each scored 12-60 points.

Visual = 36

Auditory = 33

Kinethetic/Tactile = 37

That’s all–back to studying. . .  Maybe a new post soon.

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