Thinking back to when I was first in college I would excel at practicum experiences, role play sessions and any other opportunity that I was expected to demonstrate my skills (I.e. physically, discuss my learning and apply the new information to real life situation’s). When it came time to write an exam or an essay my confidence went down as I would struggle with how to capture the right information on paper. Therefore, I soon realized my favorite courses involved hands on opportunities for learning and usually had less formal lectures and more role plays, group discussions and practicum requirements. I now know why it worked as the above mentioned teaching strategies were ways to activate my learning. As our text explains Active prior learning… “Because active learning requires students to integrate new information or ideas into what they had already know, it is helpful to have students participate in activities that activate prior knowledge.” (Barkley, p.98).
Luckily, I have since learned to listen and pay more attention to lectures, state more articulately what I am thinking on paper and write more easily and thoroughly. This did not happen overnight. It has taken years of formal education and dedication to improving in this area.
I believe that there is a place for many styles of learning in the classroom and just because student seems more easily drawn to one or styles doesn’t mean it is the only style to use. I will continue this way of thinking and ensure i include carious styles in my classroom. In my experience it is always best to use a variety of styles as this way you will target certain learners and also help strengthen certain ways of learning for various students.
Student engagement techniques: A handbook for college faculty. Barkley, E.F. (2010). Student engagement techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.