One size doesn't fit all

11th January 2008 at 00:00
Some children like to learn by looking, others by listening and others by getting stuck into something practical. But it's important not to put labels on children.

A good learner should be able to apply different strategies depending on the task. Having taken this course on learning styles, I now plan my lessons so that they appeal to everyone. That means making sure there's a visual, aural and practical part to each session.

If we're looking at injection moulding, I talk to the class, then I put a diagram on the board, and finally we all have a go at doing some moulding. They also make a rubber to keep in their pencil cases, so that it reminds them of the lesson.

I'm lucky, being a design and technology teacher, because it's easy to get hands-on activities into a lesson. In some subjects the only kinaesthetic activity might be carrying your books into the room.

One of the best things about this course was that a group of pupils spoke to us about their own experiences of learning.

It brought home to me how important it is to see things from the learner's perspective, rather than the teacher's

Stuart Taylor teaches at Bradford Grammar School. He was talking to Steven Hastings

The details

Understanding Different Learning Styles was run by Independent Professional Development, which provides training for independent schools. It plans to repeat the course this summer. www.ipd.org.uk

You could also try another course on learning styles: One Size Doesn't Fit All www.lighthouse.tv February 29, March 7 and 10. pound;199 + VAT.

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