How we uniquely experience the world, has a direct result in the way we learn things.

A teacher’s responsibility is to understand the uniqueness of this experience. The teacher then aligns their lessons to meet the needs of the different styles of learning. The most successful teaching strategy for a teacher is to cater to the learner’s style to ensure that they grasp the information correctly.

The success of teaching strategies lies in understanding that different types of learning styles can drastically impact the way a teacher teaches. Hence it becomes critical for a teacher to understand the different learning styles. Let’s briefly understand these learning styles.

The four major learners are:

  1. Visual learners: Visual learners learn best when seeing and observing. The lessons for such learners should include many visual aids like diagrams, objects, written instructions, etc. This type of learner understands and learns through sight, learning better when the information is presented visually, through models, diagrams, film clips, written content. This style of learning is also called the spatial learning style. A successful teaching strategy for such learners would be to use a lot of visuals in the lessons.
  2. Auditory learners: Auditory learners prefer learning through sound. The lessons for such learners should be lectures, verbal explanations, recorded audio lessons, discussions, etc. Asking questions, making them explain concepts, use of audio or video tapes is the best way to reinforce the information in such types of learners. The successful teaching strategy for such learners would be to have sound as a predominant part of the lesson.
  3. Kinesthetic learners: Such learners learn best when they experience or do things. The lessons for such learners should include acting out events and partaking in hands on activities doing things with their hands. Asking them to do models of concepts, conducting experiments, using building blocks helps them understand concepts and information better. The successful teaching strategy for such learners would be to have many activities in the lessons.
  4. Reading/writing learners: Such learners learn best when they have to read or write. Teaching this type of learner is the easiest. The lessons should include writing assignments, journal keeping, presenting papers, reading assignments, etc. There is an overlap with visual learning in this style. The best strategy, in this case, would be to make good use of writing and reading aids and give them enough time to absorb the concepts/ information well. The successful teaching strategy for such learners would be to make the lessons very verbal with enough room for expression.

Once a teacher understands the different styles of learning of learners in her class, she can group them accordingly and cater to each style with small variations in her lessons.

The 5 successful teaching strategies would include one catering to each learning style and one that could overarch all the learning styles. Let’s discuss them here.

1. Visualization

Visualising helps in summarising the lessons taught in class. A successful teaching strategy to adopt here would be to ask a group of visual learners to recap the lessons in visual representation. This will not only help them understand the information better but also, they will be able to communicate it in an easy-to-understand manner. This teaching strategy will also help the differentiated learners in the class to visualize the lesson in a clear, simple and systematic way. Some of the visual learning tools the teacher can strategically use to successfully impart lessons are concept maps, mind maps, organisers, flow charts, Venn diagrams, videos, charts, pictures of objects, geographic maps, field trips. The list is endless, a visual learner teacher can herself come up with interesting and innovative visual tools.

2. Inquiry-Based Instruction

This teaching strategy works best with auditory learners. A group of students with an auditory style of learning should be encouraged to ask inquiry-based thought-provoking questions that inspires and makes the learners think independently. Involving learners in solving problems, discussing solutions is a successful teaching strategy that can be adopted for auditory learners. Another successful teaching strategy could be to make the learners read out the lessons aloud to the class and then try and explain the concepts.

3. DIY sessions and use of technology

Any teaching strategy which involves learners into doing an activity is sure to be a success. Would not the literature lessons be fun if some of the plays that are part of your curriculum could be enacted? The retention is better, and lessons learned from such activities are remembered well beyond the academic sessions. A math concept could easily be learnt by using educational games. Working of a solar cooker becomes a very easy concept if the learners are encouraged to make one. Technology like computers, the internet, etc can be used for interactive games and puzzles. Scrabble could be used as one of the activities for building vocabulary. Building a small pond is the best strategy that can be successfully adopted for understanding the ecosystem of the pond.

4.  Traditional method

The good old successful teaching strategy involving reading and writing is best suited for some students. The reading and writing which gets done at an individual pace is very effective for the students who are deliberate learners and need more time to understand and digest information imparted to them. The successful teaching strategy adopted for such learners is to ask them to read the lesson and make notes, summarise the main points, write answers to the questions on a particular topic. Writing helps learners to go back to the notes for reference whenever they feel the need to.

5. Differentiation

The fifth and the most important teaching strategy is differentiation. Differentiation helps in motivating learners and making them confident. While differentiating, the teacher can allocate tasks based on the learner’s strengths so that all are successful in completing their tasks and no one gets left behind. This teaching strategy which facilitates the learner in choosing a career he/she wants to pursue. 

A successful teaching strategy would be to give assignments to individual learners based on their proficiency so that the learners with higher capabilities can challenge themselves and the learners who are struggling, get the required support to improve themselves.

All 5 successful learning strategies listed above can cater to the learning needs of all types of learners, though some strategies are best suited for a particular learning style.

Having a mixture of learning styles leads to a successful implementation of learning in the classrooms.

What bigger success can a teacher aspire for?

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