Applying Different Learning Styles to a Multicultural Environment

Applying Different Learning Styles to a Multicultural Environment

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5106-5.ch002

Abstract

In this chapter, there will be a presentation of information on the development of curriculum and how curriculum is impacted by different learning styles. Different learning styles impact the development of curriculum and impacts the management of the classroom. Different learning styles are an important part of managing a diversified curriculum for a multicultural environment. It is important to understand the history of learning styles and how learning styles can be used to develop curriculum that will increase a learner's educational progress. Since students are unique in their learning process, understanding different learning styles can be useful to develop lessons that include Visual, Auditory, Verbal, Physical, Logical, Social (interpersonal), Solitary (intrapersonal) approaches is important. Following are key areas that will be discussed; history of learning styles, learning styles that impact a student's success, teachers impact on learning styles, managing a student's strengths and weaknesses by understanding different learning styles, different learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Verbal, Physical, Logical, Social (interpersonal), Solitary (intrapersonal), learning style tests/Personality Tests and maximizing learning styles in a multicultural environment.
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History Of Learning Styles

The history of learning styles has evolved over time. Individuals are unique and have a specific process for interpreting information which is why evaluating learning styles for everyone can have a positive impact on their educational progress. Chandler (2017) noted there are factors that impact how individuals learn that include an individual’s behavior and their attitude to learning. First does an individual want to learn and are they motivated to learn as this will impact their attitude to learning. Chandler (2017) noted the history of learning styles began in 1904 with Alfred Binet and through their testing they could investigate differences in individuals. After Binet, Dr. Montessori shared her thoughts on how students achieve knowledge through different approaches to learning based on how they act. This action influences how students interpret information and then how they respond to the information. After the above noted time frame, Bloom provided a system of taxonomy which helped to evaluate different learning styles. Bloom felt that there are 6 specific approaches to thinking and learning cognitively that included “knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation” (Chandler, 2017, para 5).

Students respond cognitively in different ways in order to obtain knowledge, comprehend the information and then apply it successfully. An analysis of information can lead to a synthesis of the information where continual evaluation will help to improve the cognitive process. Based on research, style is different than ability so an evaluation would be useful in both ability and style areas. As noted by Li-Fang and Sternberg (2000) style is a preference. This preference in learning can be changed based on the type of information and how the information is presented to students. “Since the beginning of the cognitive-styles movement in the 1950's and early 1960s different theories of thinking styles have been constructed” (Li-Fang & Sterberg, 2000, p. 470). This movement opened the opportunity for teachers to use different methods to help students succeed while giving them a chance to learn based on the different presentation of information.

Hammond, Austin, Orcutt and Rosso (2001) noted that in order for learning to occur there needs to be a connection between information and a process to conceptualize the information. As students conceptualize information, achieving a positive approach to learning this can build on previous knowledge and experience.

Learning can be viewed, in part, as a matter of encoding and storing information in memory, processing, categorizing and clustering material, and later retrieving this information to be applied at the appropriate times and situations. (Hammond, Austin, Orcutt, & Rosso, 2001, p. 11)

Encoding and storing information creates a memory process where students combine like information and then draw on the information to use it for future problem solving. In Figure 1 it is possible to see how each step of the learning process is achieved and works in a cyclical process. As learning occurs students encode and translate information unique for them and this information is stored and used when needed.

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