Basically, people have different methodologies of interacting and digesting information. It depends with the individual to know the best way he can learn and no learning style is better than other. These methodologies are called the learning styles. Although students at college level are assumed to have identified the best learning style, it is advisable that teachers should incorporate many learning styles in their teaching course to enable students to learn (McCarthy 7).
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Experts argue that there are seven learning styles. They include: visual aid (using images and pictures), aural aids (use of sound and music), verbal aid (use of words including written and oral), physical aid (use of body parts like hands), logical (use of reasoning), social (use of groups) and lastly working alone (David 10).
Currently there are several models trying these explain learning styles
David Kolb’s model is based on following concepts; the grasping concept and the transforming experience. In order to attain effective learning the two concepts must be incorporated. This result to following learning styles, the Convergers incorporate the experimentation and the concepts, the divergers incorporate experience and observation, the assimilators use observation and concepts and lastly, accommodators use experiments and experience (McCarthy 44)
Honey and Mumford’s model altered the Kolb’s model and used it with three middle and senior level managers in business. These stages in the Kolb’s model cycle were renamed in order to fit managerial experiences thus they came up with following classes of people the activist, the theorists, the reflector and the pragmatists (Kolb 15).
Anthony Gregorc’s model explains learning styles based on concrete and abstract qualities and also ordering abilities like random and sequential. They argue that a person with concrete qualities use his five senses to understand while abstract quality involve understanding of unseen concepts and information. Those with sequential abilities arrange their information linearly while those with random abilities have no style of arranging the information. This results into four combinations of perceptual and ordering abilities present in people. They are concrete sequential, abstract random, abstract sequential and lastly concrete random. Both the perceptual and ordering abilities can be found in people. But it depends on which ones dominate. Individual with different combinations perceive and analyze information differently (McCarthy 58).
Sudbury model of democratic education urges that students should not be forced or coerced in any manner to learn, for them learning process should be from within and not from outside. Children are able to read and write without being taught by the teacher. Some children can learn from the games they play while others do learn from street signs and other from cereal boxes. It is said that even learning of letters can be done by the child alone. Those schools which use this model say that none of their students has ever been forced to learn here students are left to learn at their own pace and yet the school has never experienced dyslexia.
There are many other theories which have been published but the recent model called neuropsychological hybrid model is a new model of learning that has not been verified well. It is based in personality development and argues that sensation seeking is the root cause of learning. A high curiosity to learn may lead to poor learning outcomes unless it is backed by goal orientation, emotional intelligence and deep learning goals in order to attain functional results (McCarthy 101).
Students learning methods are affected by immediate environment such as sound, temperature, lights and design, others are affected by their own emotions which include motivation, responsibility and persistence, others by their social needs which include peers, teams, self and lastly by their physical needs like mobility, time and perceptual capability (Kolb 66 ).
This proves the point that although the teaching styles may be universal, they may be affected by the cultural and social economic factors where the student is located since it is the culture which shapes the student’s emotions, social and physical needs.
Kolb, A. David. Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development: New York, NY: Prentice Hall, 1983.
McCarthy, Bernice. 4Mat System: Teaching to Learning Styles with Right-Left Mode Techniques: Kansas, MO: Excel Inc. 1980.