As unique individual all of us have our own style of taking in things and learn. Some of us learn visually, some of us are musical and similarly others have their own style. Each person has a distinct mindset to take up things.
This report analyses the different multiple intelligence model, particularly Howard Gardner's model of learning styles and usage of different learning styles in different situations along with the review of my own learning style and how I might develop my learning style in the future for more effective learning.
Introduction: What is effective learning?
Learning is effective when the learner is well aware about what he is learning, what he wants to learn and how is he going to reach that level. A motivated, properly directed and self realised learning is an effective learning. Generally, in the schools and colleges there are lots of things to learn and lots of subject to cover within a limited time and face the exam papers and still pass. An effective learning enables us to properly manage our time and achieve most from the things we learn. An effective learning style helps us to improve quality our learning.
Different learning styles and skills
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Since every individual has a unique way of learning, there are many different learning styles and skills proposed after an extensive research and study. The major learning styles that are generally used are:
Multiple Intelligence Model( Howard Gardner)
Multiple Intelligence model consists of seven learning styles which covers the wide area of different styles of learners. The seven styles of learning are :
Mathematical - Logical
VAK model of consists of three types of learning methods;
TRAP model( Honey and Mumford 1986)
TRAP model is also known as Honey and Mumford model as it was proposed by Honey and Mumford. TRAP model considers the learners to be of 4 types. They are
Reflector (Reflecting )
Activist (Doing something)
Pragmatist (Doing something differently)
Kolb's learning cycle (Kolb)
Kolb's (1985) believes that we all go through the 4 cycles of learning as a part of learning process. These process are generally learning by
feeling( from experience)
learning by watching and listening
learning by thinking
learning by doing (Heinemann, 2005)
Kolb's cycle has basically 4 stages which Kolb has described as
Concrete Experience (CE)-doing/ having an experience
Reflective Observation(RO)-reflecting it
Abstract Conceptualisation (AC)-understanding /concluding
Active Experimentation(AE)- doing things that you have learned differently
( Kolb, 1984)
It can be shown from the diagram as:
The Kolb Cycle - made up of four stages (see text description below)
Megginson's model of learning basically says that there are two types of learners; one who learns from the experience and one who are planned learners. The diagram of Megginson model shows the type of learners.
LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE
HOWARD GARDNER'S MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE MODEL
Traditionally, scientists have measured skills with language, logic and math, and some visual and spatial abilities and then confined human intellectual within the boundary of IQ. However, scientific researches show validity of other types of intelligence such as musical, kinaesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal etc and Howard Earl Gardner (1943) describes all these intelligences in his model called Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence model. Gardner viewed intelligence as "the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural setting" (Gardner & Hatch, 1989).
The seven multiple intelligences as proposed by Gardener are:
i) Linguistic intelligence is concerned with the spoken and written language, the ability to learn languages and use them to achieve a goal. A person with linguistic intelligence is very good in the effective and appropriate use of languages and words and expresses oneself poetically or descriptively. Linguistically intelligent individual enjoys reading, writing and are very good at literature and they can learn languages quite easily. Lawyers, speakers, writers have high linguistic ability.
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ii) Logical Mathematical involves the ability to examine problems, think logically and critically to solve those problems, do mathematical calculations and carry out research or investigations methodically and scientifically. Gardner's stated that person having logical mathematical intelligence are very good at mathematical calculations and they have a very good reasoning capacity to solve problems or puzzles.
iii) Musical, as the name suggests it is related with the musical ability of an individual. This intelligence involves the art and skills of composing music, understanding musical pattern like tones, rhythm, time signature etc and performing. One who has this intelligence and has the proper opportunity to polish this skill can be a very good musician of all time. Musical and linguistic intelligence are quite similar.
iv) Visual Spatial entails the a number of loosely related capacities: the ability to recognise instances of the element, the ability to understand and recognise the transformation of one element to another and create a imaginary picture in the mind and present the graphical likeness of the spatial information. Individuals like architect, artists, sculptures etc have a high visual spatial intelligence.
v) Bodily kinaesthetic contemplates the skills involving the use of the body to express oneself and solve the problems. Dancers, athlete, Yoga practitioners etc have a very good body kinaesthetic intelligence. They can co-ordinate their mind with their body to achieve something. Gardner sees mind and body as related.
vi) Interpersonal (social) related to the ability of an individual to recognise and understand others feelings, intentions, desires and preference. This allows a group of people to work in harmony and cooperation and maintain good relationship with each other. Managers, customer relation person, politician, teacher and almost every profession need a well developed interpersonal skill to work effectively in a peace and friendly environment.
vii) Intrapersonal (intuitive) involves the skills and ability to realise the needs and wants of one. It is very important to be well aware of our desires, goals, and motivations to get the best of ourselves. A person with good intrapersonal intelligence is always confident and sure what he/she wants to do and achieve.
The seven intelligence model of Howard Gardner clearly involves the different range of intelligence that a person has.
Effective Learning and a Balance of Learning Styles
Well there are different types of learning styles and different people might use different learning styles according to the situations and personal choice. Some people might be comfortable with the auditory learning style, some might be visual learner and similarly others. The styles of effective learning should not be confined within a certain rules or limitations. Different learning styles can be used at a time for a better and more effective result according to the need of the learning. There need to be a proper balance of the different styles.
A more balanced approach to learning is very important to experiment ourselves and try new things which can expand the horizons of our knowledge and open new doors to many different ways we perceive the world. However, there shouldn't be way too much involvement and experiment with drastically different learning skills. A balance among the different dimensions of learning is very important to take in new things and learn more effectively.
Review of My Personal Learning Style
I think my personal learning style is more of a mathematical logical and musical; reason being that since my childhood I have always been very good at maths and science, and I have recently discovered the musical side of me.
During my schooldays I took optional mathematics as an optional subject during my 9th year and I was really good at it as well. I enjoy learning new things especially which requires a logical and critical thinking and science was the subject that provided me the opportunity.
For the musical learning side of me, I am learning guitar and amazingly I learned it in a very few time and I also started to play keyboard. The staff notation which seems very difficult and confusing to many people, I find it quite easy and clear.
I am very interested in music and I want to develop my musical learning style so that I can one day be a decent musician and composer. For that I am now taking some music classes here and there.
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I recently did a survey online in www.bgfl.org website and it also showed that my dominant learning style is logical mathematical and musical. See appendix 1
However, there are other learning styles that I need to improve like linguistic. Literature is a subject that I was always not up to the mark. I am however trying to improve my linguistic learning style by reading more literary materials and writing more articles and blogs.
Howard Gardner's multiple intelligence model consists of seven intelligences which comprises all the different types of learning methods. His model well describes that there is a unique blend of different types of intelligences in human. One has to realise the dominant intelligence and utilise it to the fullest to achieve the goals and also realise the weaker intelligence and try to work on it to use it to learn new things and open new ways of perceiving the world.
Gardner's model has been really beneficial to a number of people in recognising their own learning style and encourages them to go beyond the usual skills and tests.
Gardner, H., & Hatch, T. 1989, Multiple intelligences go to school: Educational implications of the theory of multiple intelligences, Center for Technology in Education
Kolb, D.A. 1984, Experiential Learning Experience As A Source Of Learning And Development', New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Heinemann, E.B. 2005, Information and Knowledge Management, Elsevier ltd
Megginson, D. Et. Al. 1993, Human Resource Development, Kogan Page, London.