The Preschool to Year 12 experience of all our students will be underpinned by an emphasis on learning how to learn. In the past decade, our society has changed significantly, including an enormous growth in information, rapid technological advances and changes in employment. In this new century, students go about learning differently. Individuals need to be more versatile and equipped to deal with increased diversity.
To be an effective school we need to provide our students and our school community, parents and teachers, with the opportunity to learn how to learn and to incorporate this into our curriculum and teaching. To do this we are developing a school-wide program to use the advances in knowledge in recent years about how we learn, how the brain functions and how this helps us understand the nature of human learning. This program will assist students understand how they learn, what type of learners they are and develop strategies for learning that are most effective for them. It will encourage them to become reflective learners and continually increase their personal strategies for effective learning.
Students are encouraged to explore and understand their own learning style.
What’s Your Personal Learning Style?
- Visual Learning: Learning by seeing the material. This means that written work, maps, graphs and pictures help the work to be remembered. Students who learn visually must write down words, definitions and ideas in order to assist understanding and recall. Using colours and patterns to “visualize” what is on the page also helps.
- Auditory Learning: Learning by hearing the material. Work that is explained, or read aloud, will be remembered best. Students, as well as writing notes, need to read material aloud, and can use a tape recorder to reinforce information retention.
- Understanding the Whole Idea: This student needs to have the whole issue described and explained in order to have the best grasp of an idea. This student should be encouraged to look over the total topic before learning specific parts, if it is to make most sense.
- Partializing the Idea: Some people need to break the information into units, and learn about one part at a time. Therefore general understanding is built by taking one unit, reading it, doing the examples, and trying out how that part is applied.
- Observation: Learning by watching another person do the task. For example, watching while the teacher works through a maths problem on the board, watching while an experiment in science is done, watching a home economics or art demonstration.
- Experience: Some people learn best by “hands on” experience, which then helps them to work out the basic idea, which is more abstract. This is a way of problem solving through trial and error, or get involved and letting the wider meanings of the issue emerge, e.g., in history, following through a line of evidence to a conclusion when some generalisations can be made.
- Overview of the Concept First: Some students prefer to know what the abstract and general issues are, what ideas are to be explored, before they get specifically involved in problem solving. These students seek a broad definition of the topic, how its application fits in with what is already known, and the purpose of the exercises. For example, these students like a topic to be explained before any examples are tried. They need to glance through a whole chapter, or a topic, before getting down to the examples.