Monday, 3 August 2009

Kids Learning Styles

New Zealand Nannies International discovered an interesting article on Kids Learning Styles based on their personality - borrowed from "Parenting" Magazine Issue #36. The article identifies the different needs children have and how they learn best according to their personality. Here is a summary:

Beaver (Melancholic)
Personality: Self-conscious, easily-embarrased, timid, bashful, avoids talking before a group, prefers to work and play alone, detailed, careful, deliberate, slow in making decisions, overcautious even in minor matters, may lack self-confidence and initiative, compliant, yielding, reserved, has a few intimate friendships, very sensitive, modest, creative, good at planning, organized, meticulous, analytical, conscientious.
Learning Style: Practical, observant, hands-on, methodical, precise, organized, conformers
  • Start with the facts
  • Step-by-step instructions
  • Be praised for their attention to detail and good memory
  • Work to a plan
  • Understand one thing at a time
  • Tick off completed tasks
  • Observe rather than explore
  • See lots of examples
  • Repeat until skill is learned
Lion (Choleric)
Personality: Rational, decisive, strong-willed, independent, opinionated, natural leader (may be bossy!), most prone to anger - does not display compassion easily, goal/task oriented, irritated by details, determined.
Learning style: Logical, questioning, negotiating, competent, fair, analytical, achievers
  • Start with goal-setting
  • Praise for achievements
  • Be treated like equal partners in their learning
  • Be logical
  • Be challenged
  • Understand why it's important
  • Receive clear feedback on how to improve
  • Critique objectively without penalty
  • Investigate pros & cons
Otter (Sanguine)
Personality: Influences others, natural leader, receptive, outgoing, talkative, often affectionate, cheerful/bubbly, often messy or disorganized, emotional, lacks discipline.
Learning style: Imaginative, easily-distracted, spontaneous, creative, unpredictable, day-dreamers.
  • Spontaneous activities to interrupt routine
  • Start with their ideas
  • Praise for originality
  • Understand the big picture
  • Be given choices
  • Have big dreams with no penalties
  • Freedom to be creative/curious
  • Avoid repetition
  • Explore things they find interesting
Retriever (Phlegmatic)
Personality: Steady, idealist, easy-going nature, calm, timid, often uses humour to make points, observes rather than involving self in others' activities, lacks motivation (can even be lazy), lack drive and ambition, self-protecting (to the point of selfishness), very stubborn - though often hidden under mild manner, dependable.
Learning style: Caring, empathetic, affectionate, kind, loyal, willing to help.
  • Start with points of agreement
  • Frequently praised by people who care
  • Study in a calm setting
  • Feel supported and appreciated
  • Study assignments that relate to people
  • Study with a friend
  • Know how what they're studying can be helpful
  • Study the important values in any situation
  • Learn through collaboration
Though most of us are made up of characteristics from all personality types, there are two that stand out, and one that is strongest.

Choleric/Sanguine personality types tend to be extroverts, while Melancholic/Phlegmatic personality types tend to be introverts. An extrovert gets their energy from people. An introvert gets their energy from time on their own.

What Assists an Extrovert in their Learning: Start with discussion, praise for participation, works well in groups, speak more than write, learn by doing, think out loud without penalty, talk to confirm what's learned, learn in the outdoors at times, have energy and enthusiasm.

What Assists an Introvert in their Learning: Start with a quiet space, be praised for listening and thinking skills, work independently, work without interruption, given time to process thoughts, given feedback privately, write more than they speak, choose to listen rather than participate with no penalty, study topics indepth.

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