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Rllink
08-15-2014, 06:48 AM
Many many years ago, when I went to school, I did not get very good grades. I ended up in the Navy after high school, and that was during the Viet Nam war. During that time, I took college courses by correspondence while I was on the ship and did quite well. I got out of the Navy, went to college, graduated, and the rest is history. Early in my college, I was part of a study to identify learning styles. That study probably did more to help me than anything else could have.

I have a learning style. As soon as I understood what that style was, I could adapt to that. The point that I'm tying to make here is that everyone learns differently. I think that often people do not realize that, and they talk to other people who have found success with a particular book, a series of videos, or whatever, and when they take that approach, which may not work for them. They become frustrated and blame themselves. I think that it is important to remember that finding learning resources that compliment a particular learning style is part of the process. If one can look back and analyze what worked in the past for them, they can perhaps identify what is going to work for them in regards to playing the uke, instead of randomly spending a lot on books, subscribing to web pages, or taking lessons in the search for the right thing.

Just my thoughts on the subject.

janeray1940
08-15-2014, 07:19 AM
This is actually a pet topic of mine! As a kid I tested off the charts high on IQ tests and the like, yet I managed to fail classes and get mediocre grades all through school (until I finally dropped out, got my GED, and entered the workforce). When I returned to college at age 30, I got tested and learned that not only do I have a numbers disability (dyscalculia) but that I'm a visual-kinesthetic learner, which is among the minority and is pretty much the opposite learning style of how the American public school system is skewed (or perhaps was skewed, in my day - no idea what it's like now but I can only imagine it's even more cookie-cutter standardized). Auditory or verbal learning - listening to a lecture, reading instructions from a printed page - completely fails me. Eventually I learned to compensate by taking handwritten notes and drawing pictures during lectures. To this day, I have never read an instruction manual for any device I've owned - I just figure it out as I go along.

To relate this to uke: despite being visually oriented, I can't learn from uke videos at all - the reverse orientation of the image to my POV just melts my brain. For me, having an instructor has been key, both from being able to orient myself in the same direction as the instructor and being able to interact by asking questions. And playing by ear is probably the hardest thing for me - while I can hear melodies just fine (and even "see" them on the fretboard I picture in my mind as I listen or play!) hearing the different intervals that comprise a chord just stumps me if it's anything beyond major/minor/maybe a 7th. Aside from a few books of tab that I use for specific songs, I learned long ago to stop wasting my money on uke books - for me, the best way to learn is via in-person lessons, playing with others, or learning a specific song.

Rllink
08-15-2014, 08:16 AM
This is actually a pet topic of mine! As a kid I tested off the charts high on IQ tests and the like, yet I managed to fail classes and get mediocre grades all through school (until I finally dropped out, got my GED, and entered the workforce). When I returned to college at age 30, I got tested and learned that not only do I have a numbers disability (dyscalculia) but that I'm a visual-kinesthetic learner, which is among the minority and is pretty much the opposite learning style of how the American public school system is skewed (or perhaps was skewed, in my day - no idea what it's like now but I can only imagine it's even more cookie-cutter standardized). Auditory or verbal learning - listening to a lecture, reading instructions from a printed page - completely fails me. Eventually I learned to compensate by taking handwritten notes and drawing pictures during lectures. To this day, I have never read an instruction manual for any device I've owned - I just figure it out as I go along.

To relate this to uke: despite being visually oriented, I can't learn from uke videos at all - the reverse orientation of the image to my POV just melts my brain. For me, having an instructor has been key, both from being able to orient myself in the same direction as the instructor and being able to interact by asking questions. And playing by ear is probably the hardest thing for me - while I can hear melodies just fine (and even "see" them on the fretboard I picture in my mind as I listen or play!) hearing the different intervals that comprise a chord just stumps me if it's anything beyond major/minor/maybe a 7th. Aside from a few books of tab that I use for specific songs, I learned long ago to stop wasting my money on uke books - for me, the best way to learn is via in-person lessons, playing with others, or learning a specific song.Thanks for responding, because I was identified as a bodily-kinesthetic learner as well, which is interesting that you responded so quickly to my thread. You obviously know what I'm talking about.

actadh
08-15-2014, 08:23 AM
I have my communication students do a learning style inventory, and then do one on a person they often interact with, and then compare styles. It can be quite eye opening.

Here is a quick one -
http://www.upb.pitt.edu/uploadedFiles/Learning%20Styles%20Inventory.pdf

Rllink
08-15-2014, 08:34 AM
I have my communication students do a learning style inventory, and then do one on a person they often interact with, and then compare styles. It can be quite eye opening.

Here is a quick one -
http://www.upb.pitt.edu/uploadedFiles/Learning%20Styles%20Inventory.pdfThanks for posting that, and thanks for being the kind of teacher who recognizes that we all don't learn the same way. Maybe most teachers understand that now, I don't know, but back in the sixties, when I went to school, it was was not factored into the teaching. I'm going to hang on to that PDF.

tbeltrans
08-15-2014, 09:43 AM
I have long thought that the "bell curve" measured more about a given student's learning style matching the classroom teaching style than it did anything about the student's ability to learn. Also, when discussions about "talent" have come up here and in other forums, I have said over and over pretty much what the OP said. I am glad other people are recognizing this. I believe that EVERYBODY has abilities and that it is merely a matter of each finding his or her own "operating style" (i.e. how that person functions best for both learning and executing). Those that we look up to as being "talented" have found theirs, but never forget that we each can too.

Tony

janeray1940
08-15-2014, 09:59 AM
I have my communication students do a learning style inventory, and then do one on a person they often interact with, and then compare styles. It can be quite eye opening.

Here is a quick one -
http://www.upb.pitt.edu/uploadedFiles/Learning%20Styles%20Inventory.pdf


Thanks for posting that, and thanks for being the kind of teacher who recognizes that we all don't learn the same way. Maybe most teachers understand that now, I don't know, but back in the sixties, when I went to school, it was was not factored into the teaching. I'm going to hang on to that PDF.

That inventory was spot-on, in my experience on one - my answers strongly favored kinesthetic/tactile with a bit of visual thrown in, and just one auditory yes (distracted by sounds/noises, but then I'm distracted by *everything*!). And seconding the kudos for being the kind of teacher with this awareness. Even though I went to school way back in the 1970s, from what I've seen while involved in raising my ex's kids (now early 20s), things have not changed much - it takes a really dedicated individual to deviate from the square peg/round hole approach.


I have long thought that the "bell curve" measured more about a given student's learning style matching the classroom teaching style than it did anything about the student's ability to learn. Also, when discussions about "talent" have come up here and in other forums, I have said over and over pretty much what the OP said. I am glad other people are recognizing this. I believe that EVERYBODY has abilities and that it is merely a matter of each finding his or her own "operating style" (i.e. how that person functions best for both learning and executing). Those that we look up to as being "talented" have found theirs, but never forget that we each can too.

Tony

Tony, that's really positive encouragement for all of us. At nearly 50 I'm still trying to figure out what I'm "talented" at but that sure doesn't stop me from enjoying the things I'm merely... passable at :)

I'm really curious as to what, if anything, has been written/postulated/theorized about those of us who are non-auditory learners when it comes to learning music. I'm going to do some digging around and ask some teacher friends what they know, but if anybody following this thread has recommendations, please send them my way!

Benscience
08-15-2014, 11:30 AM
Having been a teacher for the last 27 years of all age groups from 5 year olds to university lecturing, learning styles has often been touted as a remedy for students to identify with and for teachers to adapt their teaching to but there is very little evidence that it even exists at all
Learning style inventories make use of forced-response choices causing people to make the same choices. “Nearly everybody would prefer a demonstration in science class to an uninterrupted lecture. This doesn’t mean that such individuals have a visual style, but that good science teaching involves demonstrations.” (Stahl)
Some of the best known and widely used instruments have such serious weaknesses (e.g. low reliability, poor validity, and negligible impact on pedagogy) that we recommend that their use in research and practice be discontinued. (Coffield)
Recognition of individuals’ strengths and weaknesses is good practice; using this information, however, to categorize children and prescribe methods can be detrimental to low-performing students. Although the idea of reading style is superficially appealing, critical examination should cause educators to be skeptical of this current educational fad. (Snider)
It is nonsense to hold the idea that some of your students can be classified as visual learners, whereas others, within the same class are auditory learners. There is simply no known validity to making any such classifications on the basis of either neurology or genuine behavioural performance. (Hattie)
There is not adequate evidence base to justify incorporating learning styles assessments into general education practice. Thus, limited education resources would better be devoted to adopting other educational practices that have strong evidence base, of which there are an increasing number. (Pashler, McDaniel, Rohrer, & Bjork)
"VAK (Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic) is “’nonsense’ from a neuroscientific point of view. ‘Humans have evolved to build a picture of the world through our senses working in unison, exploiting the immense interconnectivity that exists in the brain….The rationale from employing VAK learning styles appears to be weak. After more than 30 years of educational research into learning styles there is no independent evidence that VAK, or indeed any other learning style inventory, has any direct educational benefits.” ~Susan Greenfield, director of the Royal Institute and a professor of pharmacology at Oxford University (Henry)
These are a few of the more recent analyses of learning styles. I offer this not as a response to just disagree but to offer something to consider.

actadh
08-15-2014, 02:07 PM
David Cook and Alan Smith have a 2006 study titled Validity of index of learning styles scores: multitrait−multimethod comparison with three cognitive / learning style instruments that supports the concept of learning styles inventories.

They seem to be useful for my students, and I am glad that the link I posted contributed to the dialogue here.

Nickie
08-15-2014, 03:28 PM
I seem to learn everything the hard way. By trying and failing and trying and failing until I succeed. It's not a bad way to learn, it just takes a while.
It seems to take FOREVER to learn a new song....but then I think "how long will it take if I don't do it?"
It's a shame that we don't teach young children HOW TO LEARN, according to what THEY NEED as individuals. How to learn needs to start in grade 1, and continue until the child (or adult) demonstrates good learning skills. School stuff , er academics would make a lot more sense....can you tell I did poorly in school for many years?

Rllink
08-16-2014, 06:04 AM
Having been a teacher for the last 27 years of all age groups from 5 year olds to university lecturing, learning styles has often been touted as a remedy for students to identify with and for teachers to adapt their teaching to but there is very little evidence that it even exists at all
Learning style inventories make use of forced-response choices causing people to make the same choices. “Nearly everybody would prefer a demonstration in science class to an uninterrupted lecture. This doesn’t mean that such individuals have a visual style, but that good science teaching involves demonstrations.” (Stahl)
Some of the best known and widely used instruments have such serious weaknesses (e.g. low reliability, poor validity, and negligible impact on pedagogy) that we recommend that their use in research and practice be discontinued. (Coffield)
Recognition of individuals’ strengths and weaknesses is good practice; using this information, however, to categorize children and prescribe methods can be detrimental to low-performing students. Although the idea of reading style is superficially appealing, critical examination should cause educators to be skeptical of this current educational fad. (Snider)
It is nonsense to hold the idea that some of your students can be classified as visual learners, whereas others, within the same class are auditory learners. There is simply no known validity to making any such classifications on the basis of either neurology or genuine behavioural performance. (Hattie)
There is not adequate evidence base to justify incorporating learning styles assessments into general education practice. Thus, limited education resources would better be devoted to adopting other educational practices that have strong evidence base, of which there are an increasing number. (Pashler, McDaniel, Rohrer, & Bjork)
"VAK (Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic) is “’nonsense’ from a neuroscientific point of view. ‘Humans have evolved to build a picture of the world through our senses working in unison, exploiting the immense interconnectivity that exists in the brain….The rationale from employing VAK learning styles appears to be weak. After more than 30 years of educational research into learning styles there is no independent evidence that VAK, or indeed any other learning style inventory, has any direct educational benefits.” ~Susan Greenfield, director of the Royal Institute and a professor of pharmacology at Oxford University (Henry)
These are a few of the more recent analyses of learning styles. I offer this not as a response to just disagree but to offer something to consider.Well, be that as it may, I am just thankful that I have had visionary educators in my life who were innovative and willing to move from the one size fits all model of teaching, and take an interest in me as an individual. If it weren't for those teachers and mentors, I doubt that I would be where I am now. As far as the validity of teaching to the different learning styles and research into it, I'm not an authority. My wife however is an educator and when I asked her if there was any truth to it, her response was that there absolutely is. So that is good enough for me.

janeray1940
08-16-2014, 10:25 AM
“Nearly everybody would prefer a demonstration in science class to an uninterrupted lecture. This doesn’t mean that such individuals have a visual style, but that good science teaching involves demonstrations.” (Stahl)

Well... then there are those of us who prefer neither, and would rather just jump right in and *do* the task at hand already and be walked through it in real time. Not trying to be difficult here either, but this is definitely not an either/or situation :)


Well, be that as it may, I am just thankful that I have had visionary educators in my life who were innovative and willing to move from the one size fits all model of teaching, and take an interest in me as an individual. If it weren't for those teachers and mentors, I doubt that I would be where I am now. As far as the validity of teaching to the different learning styles and research into it, I'm not an authority.

Seconding all of that. If I had had the educators during my childhood that I had in college (which I didn't start until age 30!) my life would have definitely taken a different path - not that I have any regrets, but I certainly had my share of rough patches of the sort one would expect when one doesn't make it through the American public school system. But thanks to those who take alternative approaches, I managed to do well through college and grad school, all the while enjoying the process.