To advance our course in life we really have to understand the kind of learners that we are and when we know what kind of learners we are then it will be easier for us to see how we can improve our learning abilities. More importantly, we can break out of the box of those who think that we are the dullards in our various learning categories when the stereotyped learning structure they have created does not seem to work for us.
I write this bearing in mind that I was once a student who failed several subjects and then had to repeat a class because of poor performance and also looking back at how I began to improve my grades but with more consideration for how learning effectively helps me to have a fulfilling life so that others can take a clue from that. When we are learning in life we must remember that we are not only learning in order to get good grades and some of the approaches we take towards getting those good grades will, unfortunately, most likely determine our approaches to learning other very important lessons that life has to offer us.
Some of our teachers boxed us into thinking that those who could learn everything from the books are the brilliant ones while those who needed other teaching aids are referred to as slow learners but in my different opinion I have come up with these category of learners and also saying that everyone must be related with based on their category and ability. I have once said what I remember someone quoting a long time ago in my articles. The person said, ‘If you must teach John Latin, you must know John and you must know Latin.’ I came with these categories of learners:
- Playful learners – In my opinion the playful learners are those whose learning abilities are at the peak when you introduce a measure of fun into whatever you intend to teach them and if you don’t do that then you will cut them off almost completely from the learning activity. I guess that a lot of teachers only engaged this type of teaching while trying to impact knowledge into the children in crèche or even pre-school ages. As soon as they go beyond those levels we think they have come of age and we take away all the fun that could possibly be included in learning. Let’s remember some people who will never forget what they learn in a playful mood and bring that back into the teaching style.
- Graphical learners – Some people can just remember anything so long as it has to do with images! They remember all the charts and all the bars or any other thing that you try to teach them just by connecting it to an image. These are the graphical learners because they easily understand what’s in pictures and hardly forget it. That also explains why you can teach some people something using a diagram to explain and by the time you want them to write what they know on the same subject you will find that they can replicate your diagramme the way you gave it to them without missing out on any part.
- Factual learners – as for the factual learners all you need to do is to give them facts and figures and they are good to go. They are usually bored by the stories or the details that you have to explain and they often times do not want you to even explain the details. They just want facts and figures and they can easily relate with that any time any day.
- Emotional learners – there are those that you have speak to in a certain way and get them into a certain mood before their learning abilities can come to the peak! You have to encourage them and boost their morale or boost their confidence and until you do that there is hardly anything you can do to make them learn effective or even grab what you are talking about! Just encourage them or motivate them with rewards and they will be ready to learn! That’s why I call them the emotional learners.
- Soul/Musical learners – I have marvelled at the ingenuity of some young people to just listen to music a couple of times without necessarily paying so much attention and by the third time they can sing the song for you without missing any part of the lyrics! I have tried to listen to some music and there are some I have listen to for years but I still don’t know exactly what the singer said in some of the lines but the people in these category of learns just have their way around that and they can sing songs that even so long without missing out any part! When you want to appeal to these kind of people in an intellectual environment and you really want their learning capacity to improve them you must teach them some basic things using music. Just as hip hop is on the lips of so many young school age Americans today, you can sometimes get a lot of lessons into their heads if you know how to connect the lessons with hip hop!
We all are different and no one should set a particular rule to compare all of us! It is also unfair that someone sets a standard that works for them and they make every other person go by that standard and are also referred to as slow learners or unintelligent people because of the standards of others that they have been boxed into.
Choose what works for you by first identifying what kind of learner you are and run with that!