Does This Make Sense To You?
We have a flow chart guy at ABC Head Start. If you look hard enough there is probably one at every work place. Although I won't identify him by name he happens to be the only guy that works at ABC Head Start therefore I probably just identified him. It's ok, he knows he's the flow chart guy. We tease him all the time about putting things in a chart, graph, or some other visual, with lots of arrows going multiple ways. The problem is for some people this really works but I see a flow chart and it's like my brain shuts off and all I can think is 'uh...I don't get it.' Then the flow chart guy explains it and the light comes on in my brain and I say "OH! OK! Couldn't you have just written that out?"
All of this got me thinking about learning styles or dispositions. We talk about them A LOT! We all recognize that everyone learns differently. And depending on what research you read there are different ways to define them. The problem is, with ALL of this knowledge we sometimes have a hard time adjusting how we "teach." We continue to do things in the same way and expect different results and a wise facilitator once said that is the definition of insanity.
This recognition of learning styles is apparent in the classrooms of ABC Head Start. I see this responsiveness to individual children and parents. I see our employees recognizing that the best way to deliver something is in a variety of different ways, at a variety of different times. It's exciting when you see a child or parent master something in such a way that they are teaching their peers.
And since we realize that everyone learns in a different way we start to focus on what we are teaching. What do we REALLY need to foster in children and parents to make a difference in their lives? Does it really matter if a refugee child from Rwanda living in Edmonton knows all their farm animals? Well maybe - but maybe it's more important if this child is confident, curious, responsible and then learning those farm animals will be a snap when it's presented to this child. AND THIS takes us into the wonderful world of research of Learning Dispositions which is another blog for another time...but click here if you are interested in studying up, for all of you who learn better when you can review the information ahead of time. I believe that learning style is called Keener. ;)