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How Would Different Learning Styles Be Accommodated in Health Promotion?

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We all have a way in which we best learn. Odds are, every student in your class has a different preferred learning style, which can make it difficult for you to be the most effective teacher. However, by trying to incorporate various methods into your teaching, you may be able to reach the majority of your students

At the college level, it is expected that students have an idea of how to adapt to most teachers, although it cannot hurt to help them out a little! Below we have the three major learning styles and ways in which you can accommodate them.

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We all experience the world in unique ways, and with that comes variation in the ways we learn best. Understanding these different types of learning styles can drastically impact the way teachers handle their students, set up group projects and adapt individual learning. Without understanding and acknowledging these different ways of learning, teachers might end up with a handful of students lagging behind their classmates—in part because their unique learning style hasn’t been activated. Part of your responsibility as an educator is to adjust your lessons to the unique group of students you are working with at any given time. The best teachers can cater to each student’s strengths, ensuring they are truly grasping the information

So how do you meet the needs of different types of learners in your class? Join us as we outline the four types of learning styles and how teachers can practically apply this information in their classrooms.How to recognize visual learners in your class: Someone with a preference for visual learning is partial to seeing and observing things, including pictures, diagrams, written directions and more. This is also referred to as the “spatial” learning style. Students who learn through sight understand information better when it’s presented in a visual way. These are your doodling students, your list makers and your students who take notes. How to cater to visual learners: The whiteboard or smartboard is your best friend when teaching these types of learners. Give students opportunities to draw pictures and diagrams on the board, or ask students to doodle examples based on the topic they’re learning. Teachers catering to visual learners should regularly make handouts and use presentations. Visual learners may also need more time to process material, as they observe the visual cues before them. So be sure to give students a little time and space to absorb the information.

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Instead of focusing on Learning Styles, it may be more productive for all, most importantly for students, to focus on the use of teaching and development activities which are demonstrably effective

For example, the use of microteaching, a simple, multi-peer review activity, the effectiveness of which has been repeatedly demonstrated in teacher-training settings (Yeany and Padilla, 1986). Only 12% of survey participants here stated that they had used microteaching within the last 12 months, yet to do so would be relatively straightforward; it is little more than the application of a few more peers to an episode of peer-observation; something that is routinely undertaken by academics in UK Higher Education. This finding may be confounded by participants simply not being aware that ‘microteaching’ means, basically, ‘multi-peer observation and feedback,’ although this was explained twice in the survey itself. Further support for an approach focused on raising awareness comes from our finding that, as a group, participants stated use of different teaching methods mapped directly on to their perceived usefulness (e.g., the most commonly used technique was formative assessment which was also perceived as the most effective). It seems reasonable to infer a causative relationship between these two observations, i.e., that participants use techniques which they consider to be effective, and thus if we can raise awareness of techniques which are demonstrably effective, then their use will increase. There are some limitations to our study. A review of factors associated with dropouts from online surveys (Galesic, 2006) observed that the average dropout rate amongst general-invitation online surveys (such as this one) is ∼30%, and so our dropout rate is entirely within expectations, although upon reflection we could perhaps have designed the instrument in a way that reduced dropout.

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On the whole, you probably recognize yourself in one of these descriptions. In your own education degree coursework, you may find it easier to read diagrams and charts rather than listening to a lecture. Or you might find that acting out a scene in the classroom makes more sense for you than researching what to do about a particular classroom management problem

As an educator, you should recognize your own learning preferences and be mindful to incorporate activities and opportunities for all types of learners to feel comfortable and engaged.

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Yeany R. H., Padilla M. J. (1986). Training science teachers to utilize better teaching strategies: a research synthesis. J. Res. Sci. Teach. 23 85–95. 10.100

Galesic M. (2006). Dropouts on the web: effects of interest and burden experienced during an online survey. J. Off. Stat. 22 313–328.

Howard-Jones P. A. (2014). Neuroscience and education: myths and messages. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 15 817–824. 10.1038/nrn3817

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