Why the One-Size-Fits-All Teaching Standard Doesn’t Work

“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”
Ignacio Estrada

“One-Size-Fits-All” teaching is a standardized curriculum of learning that assumes all students learn in the same way. Or, as I like to call it, “Cookie-Cutter” teaching.

I’m sure it goes without saying, but it doesn’t work.

Children learn in unique ways and this current style of education tends to cater only to a handful of students. While this small population thrive academically, the others are left to struggle and attempt to conform to a system that in no way complements their learning style.

children-1311506_960_720That’s not to say that schools should be expected to cater to each individual child and their particular style of learning. Resourcefully, this would be impossible. Instead, the standard curriculum should strive for a balance that incorporates the seven primary learning styles in order to allow all children an equal chance in learning information and excelling academically.

Incorporating the use of different learning styles will not only benefit those students who have difficulty learning under the current standard of teaching, but it will also prime their brains to potentially learn using many different styles. This will help them to become more rounded in their learning abilities and better train the brain to learn holistically.

The Seven Primary Learning Styles

It is important to remember that students are not going to typically fall under one solitary category of learning style. While they may primarily learn one way, they are likely capable of learning in other ways as well. Hence the importance of the balance I mentioned earlier.

  1. Aural – Auditory or Musical
    Aural learners better retain information when it is presented through sound such as vocally by a lecturer or in music or song. They prefer listening to lectures over reading material from a book.
  2. Visual – Spatial
    Visual learners use colors, pictures and images to learn. They understand visual tools such as maps and charts. These learners like to make outlines, copy notes and enjoy visual technology.
  3. Verbal – Linguistic
    Verbal learners love words and will often rewrite and reread notes in order to learn new information.  They tend to be good at word games and tongue twisters.
  4. Physical – Kinesthetic
    Physical learners experience the world through touch and movement, often needing large open spaces or objects to manipulate while learning. These learners tend to thrive when learning hands-on.
  5. Logical – Mathematical
    Logical learners focus on reasoning and excel at understanding cause and effect relationships. Their brains tend to organize and classify new information in order to make sense of it. They are good with numbers and seek to understand the “why” behind the answers.
  6. Social – Interpersonal
    Social learners learn best in a group setting. They enjoy talking and communicating with others and enjoy teaching others what they have learned. They tend to be highly sociable and able to read the emotions of others.
  7. Solitary – Intrapersonal
    In contrast the the social learner, the solitary learner prefers working alone in a quiet setting. They like to study and learn independently and tend to have a good imagination.

What is my child’s learning style?

Using the information above may help you to recognize how it is that your child tends to learn. Otherwise, you can have your child take an online quiz to determine where their learning strengths lie.

While there isn’t much you can do to completely overhaul the educational system to better accommodate your child’s learning style, you can help at home by setting up optimal learning environments. If your child is a physical learner, try to translate his or her current school lesson into a hands-on experience. If your child is a solitary learner, try to create a quiet space for he or she to complete their homework.

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