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It’s not often that two children retain information the exact same way, much less a classroom full of learners. How teachers present and communicate their curriculum is very important to the overall growth and success of future scholars. Fortunately, there are various teaching strategies that parents and teachers can use to help children grasp concepts depending on their specific learning style.
Students rely on their teachers to effectively present information in a practical and dynamic way. Despite all the personalities, learning styles and personal histories of each student, teachers are expected to mold them into independent learners who can problem solve and function in society. However, there are many ways to inspire a classroom and encourage a future academic generation.
Problems in the Classroom
Though many schools try to put pupils first on the list of priorities, this could be a challenge when faced with problems such aslack of funding, inadequate instruction and uncertainenvironments. Large class sizes can also increase the chances of students falling behind because the teacher cannot give individualized attention to each member of the class. Because of the importance of learning styles, a large classroom could lead to a blanket auditory teaching strategy which potentially puts some students at risk.
Depending on the state and school, typical classrooms can have anywhere from six to 30 students. Having that many individuals that require careful instruction is a tricky challenge. The advanced students could become frustrated and less likely to participate, while the ones who are struggling may feel pressured to keep up with everyone else. In a class with mixed abilities, teachers might face obstacles in creating lesson plans that are appropriate for everyone.
The National Institutes of Health estimate that about 15% to 20% of the general population suffers from a learning disability. About 4% of children in the United States are put into this category. These students are often stigmatized or fall behind in their studies because they do not receive the proper resources to learn. An untreated learning disability can prevent a student from reaching his or her educational goals, lead to absenteeism and increase the chances of dropping out.
So, what can a teacher do to face these challenges? Perhaps the answer is to use numerous teaching styles.
Benefits of Using Various Teaching Strategies
Most traditional Western classrooms employ the auditory-sequential teaching method: Students listen to their teacher speak and try to retain the lesson. Although this greatly benefits the auditory learners, many teachers are now implementing activities that appeal to all types of pupils.“Learning strategies” doesn’t just define one concept of teaching, but rather a series of methods that help a child reach his or her educational objectives. There is no one-size-fits-all.
Many of the stronger learners excel in the classroom because of their strength in engaging, focusing and remembering course material. Though some may have these strengths naturally, others were nurtured and encouraged by previous teachers and parents. It is part of a parent’s responsibility to build upon a child’s learning style once it has been identified. Learning is not exclusive to Monday-through-Friday school hours, but instead should be supplemented from early development.
When it comes to a child’s success in and out of the classroom, it’s important to recognize his or her learning style. Whether it’s visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical or social, identifying and engaging a student can set him or herup for success in the future. For more information about learning styles, check out our resource.
AUTHOR BIO: Susan Simmons is Vice President of Sales Graduation Caps, Gowns & Academic Regalia for GraduationSource, which outfits 500,000 graduates each year. Simmons brings expertise in account management, sales, events and commencement ceremonies planning.