Our brains are amazing!

They can read…

According to research at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a boysarentlearning2wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is that the frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by istlef but the wrod as a wlohe.

They can seen lots of different images…


 Do you see both an old woman and a young lady?



What do Year 7 students say about my Learning Program?

sixhatsAfter running my Learning Styles program over a year with my Yr 7 class I asked them to reflect using the 6 de Bono Thinking Hats. Here’s what they said:

“I think overall learning styles is really helpful because you know how you prefer to learn and it really helps. I don’t think there is anything negative about learning styles because some people may have lots of trouble at school and maybe that is only because of the way they learn. I have learnt how to adapt to different ways of learning. It has really helped me.”


“The summary is that as a K/T [Kinesthetic/Tactile] I can do work to my advantage and I have learnt loads of stuff about my learning styles. It has been boring, as well as exciting. I have learnt about my learning styles, as well as others, which is quite cool.”


“I have found Learning Styles is hard and confusing but is really interesting to learn how people learn and how you as an individual learn.”


“… I think teachers should learn the way we learn because it would help not only them but us as well.”


“…I think Learning Styles is great for both teachers and students. It makes classes fun and exciting and a great place to be. Being a Learning Styles class we can share our ideas and make it suit everybody’s styles….”


“Overall I think that learning styles has more positive than negative things. You might think that an activity is boring or there is no point doing it, but someone else might like it because it is their preferred style. Everyone has different styles and that’s why learning styles is useful”


“I think learning styles has nothing negative because everything you don’t like somebody else does like. They help you learn about your styles and others (like teachers) learn about your styles and help you learn.”


“I think it’s very important that the teachers help because then we can learn more things about all of our school subjects and what we’re doing.”


“This journey about learning styles has been fun, boring and also exciting. Learning not only about my learning styles but also other learning styles has been great. The fact that I have changed from tactile/kinesthetic to auditory/verbal has helped me understand how to adapt to the teacher’s way of teaching not only the way I learn. I hope that further on in my journey I can learn more about learning styles.”

If you would like to know how it can work in your classroom or school please drop me a line and we’ll talk! Visit my website for details.

What if research debunks your own findings as a classroom teacher? Do you cease to use the strategies that you’ve come to know and trust?

owl teacher b4 and after

Reading this article was a little like proofreading my own work. It has saved me time that I do not have this week… I’ll leave you in Heather Wolpert-Gawron’s hands. Let me know what you think.:

The Bunk of Debunking Learning Styles

(you will need to register to read the article – it’s free)

Teaching does not equal learning

quality_teacherThe Australian Professional Standards for Teachers clearly states in Standard 1. Know students and how they learn, that teachers must take steps to meets students’ needs. The proficient teacher, it reads, should “structure teaching programs using research and collegial advice about how students learn.”

Before I go any further, I do hope we all agree that the same teaching method does not work for all learners, that learners learn in different ways and that teachers should employ a variety of methods in teaching, learning and assessment. AGREED?

Learning styles are just one category that can be used in conjunction with other strategies and learner attributes such as prior knowledge, motivation, aptitude and confidence to assist in developing and facilitating relevant, interesting, fun, engaging and motivational learning experiences.

Learning should be a holistic experience engaging the learner in all facets; I always ask my students to remember just four things when engaged in reflection and learning – see, hear, feel and think. Many have used these simple examples and have developed excellent reflective skills that have in turn improved writing and listening skills. 

Learning should be a process by which the learner can investigate, participate, interact, reflect and create. Learning is not about transmitting pre-existing ideas but of creating knowledge that can be integrated into the prior knowledge and experience of the learner. In order to do this successfully the learner must be explicitly taught how to learn and a positive learning culture must be established and maintained. The learning ambience must be safe, supportive and accepting of all; a place that allows learners to thrive and facilitators to open doors.

Relationships are a key part of the learning process. I always ensure to give students ample opportunity to feedbackWhat students say their thoughts and ideas at the end of each semester or teaching stint (right). Through this simple task, that could be quite confronting for some teachers, I have been able to develop further as an educator while simultaneously receiving positive and affirming comments. I spend much time planning and devising the learning experiences and I have high expectations of my students. More times than not they step up to the challenge.

For me to be successful in developing and implementing the learning activities I feel I need to really know my students. One way to do this is to watch and learn from them, especially over the first few classes. I also run quick sessions to discover how they like to learn and one of the strategies I use is Learning Styles traits. It is not however, the only tool I use, a good dose of listening and sharing my own story also works a treat in getting the students to share their own experiences. Trust after all is the first step in building a relationship. More importantly, discovering learning styles is not intended to pigeon hole or label students as this or that type but rather, the discovery leads to a conversation and learning opportunity not only to develop their preference but to offer strategies that can assist learners to expand their learning repertoire and adapt to different situations.

Teachers do not necessarily have to do more work but instead we need to change our approach. Our role as educators is to facilitate learning, not to deliver content and hope for the best. Forming relationships, really ‘knowing’ our students is part of the learning process, as are setting goals, self-assessment and peer assessment. Just because we teach doesn’t mean they learn.

While I recognise that it is important to have research support our claims, there is also validity in our own experiences, and that of colleagues. Our experiences should not be dismissed simply because the research does not support it. I don’t think we should abandon Learning styles altogether as the concept isn’t necessarily incorrect, maybe it just needs to be fully reviewed.