Learning Styles

Upon entering the den yesterday, I was overwhelmed with the heavy aroma of chili. On any other day I would have been salivating; however, having just eaten, it made me a little nauseous. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this experience but I must confess I was a little disappointed from what I witnessed.

Directly behind me was a group of people sitting against the back wall. I didn’t catch what they were saying exactly but I’m pretty sure it involved some sort of on-line gaming experience. I was at first alone, sitting in the third row back from the stage, where there was a giant white screen hanging from the ceiling. Having walked in at about a quarter to noon, I expected a speaker nervously pacing the stage, while watching the seats slowly fill up. This was not the case.

The show began at exactly five minutes after twelve with a lazy windows pointer fumbling around on the screen, which now showed the green rolling fields of the stock wallpaper for Windows XP. As the arrow found the icon it was searching for, I heard a lady near the entrance announce that she had handouts for the learning style presentation. As soon as I heard that, I got up and waded through the crowd of hungry students anxiously waiting for their bowl of chili. It was like feeding time at a kennel.

When I returned to my seat and started glancing through the packet of papers, I got a sense of deja vu. I had seen all of this before, a long time ago. I paused for a second and started watching the continuous loop of about fifteen slides of information on the screen before me. Yes, I had definitely been here before, analyzing how I learn best, yet something was missing.

I returned to the packet which included a quiz. I took it. Lo and behold, a visual learner. Why wasn’t this surprising? Why did all of this seem so familiar? Looking at the bottom of the first page I noticed that the information was taken from a couple of different books. I didn’t recognize the name of either of them but I was sure I had seen this material before.

Getting ready to leave, I had been there nearly forty minutes waiting, maybe hoping something better than a repeating slide show was in store, it struck me. I was immediately rushed back in time to my junior year in high school. I am pleading with my chemistry teacher to bump up my grade because of some work that I’d missed. I had a very reasonable excuse but his judgement was final. Crestfallen, yet knowing that I could have tried harder, I turned to leave. He called me back right before I was out of earshot and I turned back hopeful. To my dismay, however, he did not have a sudden epiphany to grant amnesty to his D student that “failed to live up to his potential”, instead he handed me a book. It was entitled Peak Learning by Ronald Grossman.

The book detailed each of the same learning styles as mentioned in the seminar yesterday but also included another factor: time. Grossman argued that it isn’t enough for someone to learn using their specific style, or trying to develop other styles, it is also necessary what the best time is for you to learn.

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One Response to “Learning Styles”

  1. favorited this one, guy

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