It's been awhile since I did a vlog, so might as well explore a learning tool I can use to teach.
Anyways, I am currently taking a continuing education program on Instructing Adults. This used to be called Teaching and Training Adults; and I am taking the course on Adult Learning Fundamentals. In this class, it discusses some of the major theories on both learning and teaching. These two things - learning and teaching - go hand in hand. I believe one has to learn, be it for the moment or something for life, to be able to teach, to give something, to pay it forward.
So, one of the things required of us is a reflection about what I learned after taking the Kolb's Learning Style Inventory. I going to go to this after giving you some idea about what Kolb thinks about how people learn. It is a simple paradigm actually. Kolb said that learning generally is a cycle with 4 phases; and every person can start the cycle at any of the phases. He said we can learn by experience (Concrete Experience) or learn by reflecting (Reflective Observation); and we deal with these experiences by thinking (Abstract Conceptualization) or doing (Active Experimentation). From these phases in the learning cycle, he said that each of us develop a preferred learning style. Take note that the word is "preferred". One can be a Divergent, an Assimilator, a Converger or an Accommodator. Sounds like the Hunger Games titles eh? Each of these learning styles profile learners. And Kolb's Learning Style Inventory does that.
So, what learning style do I prefer as a learning according to Kolb's Learning Style Inventory?
Well, I am an ASSIMILATOR. Yehey! What does that mean to me as a learner? Well, an assimilator...
1. understands a wide range of information and put these information into concise, logical form.
2. less focused on people and more interested in abstract ideas and concepts.
3. Finds it important for theories to have logical soundness than practical value.
4. prefer to learn from lectures, readings, exploring analytical models and having time to think things through alone.
5. strong in planning, creating models, defining problems, developing theories, and well, being patient.
Sounds about right. Wonder why I took up passionately Philosophy and Sociology and taught Social Sciences? Wonder why I like this course on Adult Learning Fundamentals?
Knowing the result of the Inventory, for me, was more of a validation or affirmation of what I think my preferred learning style is. Going "meta" on how I think, how people think, or what I say and people say, and sometimes do, is something I have developed after studying Philosophy in a community that thrives in that culture. It was encouraged, even enforced as an "academic culture". And I think I have developed a clearer sense of my learning style when I started teaching and "sensing" that I had difficulty "transferring" knowledge and skills to my students. And so, I had to re-calibrate the way I think and teach catering to many, if not all, learning styles. The paradigm that I used, then, was Gardner's Multiple Intelligences. I made it a point, no matter what course I was teaching or how many students I had, that I do the Multiple Intelligences Inventory first before starting the first topic. It was part of the introduction/orientation. And it helped me as a teacher to approach every learner differently, creating a base for every single one of them from where I can help facilitate learning. And surely, to my students, the learners, it was fun for them to know what they are good at and what things they need to develop.
Although, of course, I would revert back to my preferred style from time to time, I try as much as possible to explore or experiment on other ways of learning; and little by little, as the context of where I have to learn and/or teach changes, Kolb is right that it is a cycle and must never stop at one phase. And I don't even have to notice it when it surfaces, so to speak. It just comes up like "stored knowledge' when called for.
Right now as I hope to teach again here in Canada, as an Assimilator as I can be, taking this program is logically the first step. No doubt about that. This program widens the playing field for me. I can be in any field who requires persons to learn. And when there are persons who need to learn, I should be there ready to help.
If you wanna know your preferred learning style you can check a simplified self-administered Inventory on Kolb's Learning Styles. Here's the link: