Teaching and Learning Styles – How can you help your students improve their marks?

Exam time is a stressful time for both students and teachers. Students, on the other hand, can breathe once they have laid down the pens and stopped cramming for the big bad wolf better known as exams. This is where the stress party starts for teachers – marking and being blamed when the leaders of tomorrow don’t achieve the desired marks and high standards that are set or them by the parental squad.

Research, however, confirms that teachers have substantial impacts on their students’ academic and life-long success. The relationship between students and teachers have a massive impact and teaching styles contribute to the success of individuals in their exams. Happiness and behaviour in the classroom is a critical factor. In saying all of this, it does not mean at all that poor marks reflect on you as a bad teacher, but teaching styles might have different outcomes.

The term “learning styles” speaks to the understanding that every student learns differently. Technically, an individual’s learning style refers to the way in which the student absorbs, processes, comprehends and retains information. All students are different, therefore teaching styles cannot always be stock standard. For example, when learning how to build a clock, some students understand the process by following verbal instructions, while others have to physically manipulate the clock themselves, or have to have illustrative instructions.

Learning styles are most commonly classified as the VARK model – Visual learners, Auditory learners, Reading and writing preference and Kinesthetic learners. This is based on the findings of the educational theorist, Neil Fleming. This model showcases that students have different approaches and how they process instructions and information. Students’ preferred learning techniques have a significant influence on their behaviour and learning and their learning model should be paired with the right strategies. Identifying your groups of students according to the VARK model will allow you to teach a curriculum inclusive of these learning styles to benefit each individual.

If you understand your students and have a better perspective, you will be able to minimise stress and manage expectations from all sides. The chances that you will receive an exquisite thank you gift at the end of the year, will also increase quite dramatically!

By understanding what kind of learner you and/or your students are, you can now gain a better perspective on how to implement these learning styles into your lesson plans and study techniques.

 

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