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According to Honey (2006) define learning style is a method through which students use to master his or her learning mode, by thinking and to solving problems. It is also called 'orientations or 'approaches' to learning. Honey (2006) identified four distinct learning styles such as are Activist, Theorist, Pragmatist and Reflector. Individuals use these four learning approaches to learn.
Learning is very essential for life; it is the key and it reinforces everything. Learning is formal as well as informal and a process as well as an outcome. It is conscious and unconscious. We learn because we want to learn. Reece and Walker (2002) stated that "as a student, you should have the competence and the knowledge to apply all your skill in practice and be able to analyse and evaluate the service user nursing care comprehensively. For learners to gain understanding and knowledge they need to listen and understand what was taught.
In addition a concept of learning style is used to describe people's differences by which they learn. Each individual have method to absorb and process experiences as well as information. Learning styles has become important for individuals, educators, parents companies and to understand the good learning environment allows individuals differences. For example, researchers have suggested that one's learning environment affects the students' performance with regards to the consistency with their learning preferences.
Learning style is a method through which students use to master his or her learning mode, by thinking and to solving problems. It is also called 'orientations or 'approaches' to learning. Kolb (1984) and Bastable (2003), both agreed in their argument that learning styles should not be perceived as fixed personality traits but as adaptive. Students have their particular way of learning and will learn best when there is a variety of learning opportunities which will enable them to learn in their own way. Hence, the student will be observed for any changes to determine if any learning has taken place using reflective, observation, concrete experience, active experimentation and abstract conceptualisation. They can begin at any stage and are continuous (McgiII & Beaty, 1995). According to Honey and Mumford (1998), learner's style of learning will influence teacher's teaching method.
However, as a student nurse knowing my learning styles will enable me to gain confidence as an adult learner. Understanding my learning style will help me to know how to go about my learning methods. Knowing my learning style has also helped me to be in the right environment which is suitable for my learning. Students have their peculiar ways of learning styles and will learn best when there is a variety of learning opportunities which will enable them to learn in their own way. Hence, the student will be observed for any changes to determine if any learning has taken place using reflective, observation, concrete experience, active experimentation and abstract conceptualisation.
Moreso, it is useful for me to understand my learning style because this will help me to know how to do my course studies and as well as being able to understand how to use my learning style to assess the patient's needs and support. It is useful for student nurse because it helps them communicate with their patient in the best way the patient can understand as well as using it to answer, acquire knowledge and skills on how to do my studies.
On the hand, my learning style was confirmed following the completion of an audit questionnaire Honey (2006). My learning style is a reflector. Reflector are cautious people and thoughtful people who into consideration all possible angles, implication before taking any action I.e. They explore many different perspectives. They are people who like to observe people and listen to what they have to say before they come to conclusion. I learn by observing. I always listen to people when they are speaking to know what they are saying before coming to a conclusion. An example is when we have group activities in our lectures or seminars, I usually listen to the ideas of others first before I come up to ideas of my own. In my previous place of practice were I did my placement, I observed nurses when they are doing some task like the preparation for giving depot injection. Before they begin the administration, the two nurses first of all did some observations by checking the expiring date, name of the client, date of birth, the route, time, and they also checked the medicine cabinet temperature and it was recorded in the book where they do record it. The prepared the injection, ready to be given. And both of them signed the book. The nurse put on gloves this to avoid cross contamination. Then after the injection was given, the needle was disposed in the sharp box.
Nevertheless, my weaker style is activist, activist are people who engages themselves in lot of activities. They try to experiment. They never think about consequences before the act. As this is my weaker style of learning, I will be involving myself in a lot of activity because practice makes perfect. I will also try to make instant decisions, ask to be given group activities in class and be open to new experiences.
Moreover, I will develop my weaker style of learning by managing my time effectively. I would try to reduce the times I invest in thinking and reflecting using it more to try out practical things such as asking that I give patients the intravenous out in practice as opposed to watching and reflecting on the consequences that could happen if I was given to do it. This way I would be able to learn with people of different learning styles and be a lot more flexible both in practice and in classroom activities. Like what I mentioned above, practice makes perfect, therefore I need to learn how be much more confident on engaging myself in activities that are more hands-on.
Activist, are individuals who involves themselves in a lot of activities. They are open to try out new experiences. They think of the consequences of their action after they have already carried out the action in lots of activities. They are open to try out new experiences the think of the consequences after they have already carried out the action. They like to be the centre of the activity.
According to Kolb (1984), learners learn better when the subject matter is presented in a style consistent with their preferred learning style. Theorist, are logical people, they think through everything before the act. They are more like perfectionist who analyse and synthesize. They are more on the objective side than on the subjective side. They reject anything non-logical and they maximise certainty. Pragmatists are people who open to trying out ideas and experimenting. They are down to earth people who act fast and confidently on any idea they come across. They are problem solvers that make practical decisions. They take every problem as a challenge. Reflectors are cautious people and thoughtful people who take into consideration all possible angles, implications before taking any action. For example: they explore many different perspectives. They are people who like to observe people and listen to what they have to say before they come to a conclusion.
Kolb's learning distinguishes four learning styles which are observers, thinkers, deciders and doers. Each of these has strength and weakness. It is important that students become more aware of their learning strengths and work on their weakness. Observers are people who beliefs in real event of life they like listening to other peoples experiences and go back to think about it. They are inquisitive learners wanting to know how to apply it in their learning.
The methodology used in collating the evidence for establishing my learning through the questionnaire we completed is called qualitative method. However, the literature review provided me a secondary method in collating further evidence of what is already known in the field.
In conclusion, I have learned a lot from learning styles and as well as gaining knowledge and skills. I recognised the different types of learning styles and knowing my own method of learning. In the future being able to understand my individual learning style will allow me to be able to transfer the knowledge acquired in a classroom setting to practice. This will benefit my experience as a student nurse.