Individuality and different learning styles

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GCSE Maths By: Tutor no longer registered
Subject: Maths » GCSE Maths
Last updated: 02/12/2014
Tags: different learning styles, individuality

There is one thing that always fascinates me when I am working with learners on a one-to-one basis. Each pupil works in a completely different way to the other. It amazes me how school teachers can cater for everyone when there is so much difference even in a small group. There are also many different areas where learners can be different. There is of course the main one - learning styles - kinaesthetic, visual, auditory etc. But it's so much more than that.

Some learners want to take the lead - maybe that's compensating for the school approach where pupils are treated more homogenously (although school teachers, of course, spend huge energies in creating an individualised experience). Other pupils wait for the tutor to take the lead and suggest a direction or area. Then there is the subject itself - my main subject being Mathematics. Some people just want to get to the answer or just learn a method and repeat it without an depth understanding. Others want to ask why and really go deeply into what's actually going on.

Then other learners may be great oral communicators but have poor visualisation skills - that's coming back to the learning styles idea. Others really want to learn and get the most out of the session whereas some may have been pushed into it so are not as enthusiastic etc.

Also, over time these differences may change and as a tutor you have the opportunity to act as a guide and, in doing so, help develop the individual. Maybe your pupil has plans for their future career so are motivated by the need to get good results.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, I'd like to believe. Therefore if you consider all the combinations of these differences it could mean the variations in people and their approach to learning is infinite...

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