Educational Service

3.  Using Different Styles and Talents

©2009 Ron Fitzgerald, D. Ed

Different students have different preferred learning styles and talents. The term "learning styles" here refers to ways of receiving information. The word "talents" as used on this site refers to ways of processing or expressing information; because of the work of Dr. Howard Gardner, talents are often called "multiple intelligences".
Preferred learning styles and individual talents are important for two reasons:

1. When a youngster is having difficulty learning, a teacher can change to offering another way or style of learning. The youngster's preferred way can create a higher probability of success.

2. Different talents or what are sometimes called "intelligences" (really ways of receiving, processing, or expressing information) can be strengthened in all of us.

Therefore, if you discover some things about the ways in which your youngster prefers to learn and express himself or herself, you can:

1. Work with the youngster and teachers to encourage activities that capitalize on individual strengths or preferences when learning difficulty is encountered.

2. Support relaxed activities that strengthen the areas in which a student feels "weak" or "turned-off" (I just don't like math, etc.) because now we know that all talents or "intelligences" can be strengthened. Students who know that and deliberately strengthen their non-preferred talents become the most intellectually powerful at solving problems and seizing opportunities in life.

Refer to other articles in the Brain-friendly Index for information on how to  "grow" and accommodate different styles and strengths.

These are 4 different learning styles.
This shows Dr. Gardner's multiple intelligences.