With the growing needs of children it is critical to realize that all children learn differently. The most successful classrooms are those that diversify their teaching styles and get to know individual students and their strengths and weaknesses by design. Children are most successful when they are allowed the freedom to work within their own creative outlets, or learning styles if you will, but how are children expected to express what those are?
Enter the Learning Styles Inventory. Children take the Inventory by answering a series of questions about how they’d rather learn or be presented material. Their answers are tallied up and typically one of the styles proves to have more tallies – indicating that this is how that children learns best.
The categories are:
NT’s (Intuitive Thinkers) – these are students that need to see the big picture and have a global understanding of what the class is working on and why. They are more independent workers and want lots of facts and details to support their bigger picture.
NF’s (Intuitive Feelers) – these are students that appreciate seeing the big picture as well, however they prefer to communicate and work in groups, discussing the information and coming up with a group project.
ST’s (Sensitive Thinkers) -these are the students that are strong memorizers and like to stick to the facts. The like a straight path to the right answer and prefer to work alone.
SF’s (Sensitive Feelers) – these are the students that are concrete learners but prefer to work with a group or partner.
The students take a question based assessment, and based on how they answer these questions they are placed in to one of the 4 groups. Depending on age, the groups are labels are defined and explained as needed to complete the assignments. This takes out the element of the students having to determine which group they are in, as well as assists teachers in appropriately grouping the children they work with.
Assignments in the various content areas can then be assigned based on how the students learn best, and children are allowed to work on assignments and activities that support their appropriate learning style.