How You Can Create an Environment of Learning
Do you know how to create a classroom environment that ensures adequate learning? Understanding your student’s learning styles can improve the learning experience for them. This article highlights the Learning Style Inventory and how to make adjustments that incorporate all learning styles.
A sensitive teacher might sometimes be able to identify the learning preferences of students through careful observations. An inexperienced teacher, or one with a particularly large group or very limited time, might find this more challenging. Conducting interviews early in the year can be a good way to create the space for students to talk about their learning experiences, about which activities or past classes stood out for them, where they feel they learned most, and where they feel they have found learning difficult and why. An instrument often used to assess a person’s learning style is the Dunn, Dunn, and Price Learning Style Inventory (LSI), which includes subtests for students in grades 3 to 12. Teachers can have students take the LSI and receive a formal report on their styles.
The LSI model includes five categories:
1. Environmental (light, sound, design, climate)
2. Emotional (motivation, structure, persistence, conformity, responsibility)
3. Sociological (with peers, with adults, alone, with one other person, varied)
4. Physiological (visual, auditory, kinesthetic)
5. Psychological (analytical, global, impulsive, reflective, right brain, left brain)
The LSI allows students to identify how they prefer to study and where they feel they learn most effectively. Once you identify your students’ learning styles and the conditions in which your students work best, you can plan their lessons accordingly. When planning a lesson, ask yourself the following questions, in order to address all the learning styles and intelligences present in the classroom:
1. How many different activities can I use to teach this particular unit of study?
2. How can I support students with learning disabilities, while challenging the gifted learner and at the same time engaging all my students to discover and develop their strengths?
3. Which students will benefit most from each activity? Are there any students who won’t benefit greatly from any of the activities planned? How can I resolve this?
Designing classes and educational activities that allow all students to engage and participate in learning is a challenging aspect of the teaching profession. But there’s tremendous satisfaction in delivering a lesson in which all students can participate and enrich the class with their own input and experience.
As you plan your next lesson keep in mind all types of learning styles and create activities and assignments that will promote active and enjoyable learning. The steps above will help you start planning a successful year of teaching.