It is crucial to understand various learning styles as every individual has their own methods and easy ways of learning. There are many barriers that can influence learning leaving either a positive or a negative affect on learners. Influences on learning can include past experiences with learning, motivation, access to resources, teachers/friends, and even family and lifestyles.
I personally am a visual learner. Visual learners prefer to be shown things. They like to see and read, rather than to hear and listen. Their imaginations are powerful and are used in learning. I prefer to read and make sense of things myself rather than to rely on others to explain things to me. Listening can be difficult as times come when some messages are not conveyed correctly and I have to ask for the message to be repeated. I rather am independent, have my books, pens and other resources out and get on with the work myself without being dependent on others.
Honey and Mumford’s learning theory show that there are four learning styles. They are as listed below –
1. Activist – To take action first and learn from mistakes. To face challenges and be self – centered.
2. Theorist – To base learning on theories, logic, facts, and to remain rigid.
3. Pragmatist – To love adventure, trying out new ideas and experimenting. Loves challenges.
4. Reflector – To observe, listen, and experience. Very thoughtful and quiet.
From these various learning styles, I personally believe I am more of a reflector. I am a quiet learner and prefer to listen than to speak. I have good listening skills but then again I am not as strong in my speaking skills. I observe and even though I do not speak out much I do think a lot.
From all places of work I prefer to work in class or anywhere else in college such as the library and computer rooms. Working In these areas help me to keep my concentration going and there are no distractions as there are at home. The people I work with also affect my learning. Working in the college library lets me work with other learners who show a lot of enthusiasm in their work. However, doing the same work at home can be very difficult having to deal with annoying family members and younger siblings who can be very distracting. There may also be very limited resources at home, whereas college contains all the resources needed for work.
There are many things that influence learning; it can either be a positive influence or a negative. I will pick five key influences on my personal learning process and explain these influences in greater depth.
1. Classmates/friends –
I personally believe classmates are a big influence in learning. This is because people can influence me and easily make me the way they are. Working in a class with people who are dedicating their time to learn helps me have the same commitment to my work. However, working with classmates who show no enthusiasm in their work can influence me and it is very likely I will feel the same way. This also can influence the teachers teaching methods. It can make it difficult for me to take things in and learn with so many distractions.
2. Organisation –
The key to effective learning is good organisation. From my personal experience, I have learnt that being organised helps me to work easier and keeps me on track with what I am doing. I complete all my work in the given time and am punctual and have good attendance. My time is spent wisely and I have the time to do both work and play. Being organised helps one to feel content, and there is no stress or pressure as one will remain well – prepared and aware of all areas of work. Organisation has a positive influence on learning.
During my school years, I was not as organised as I am now. I noticed that the quality of my work increased and I became better in my learning as I improved in my organisation skills.
3. Determination –
Being determined to learn makes learning much simpler. This is because one is committed to work and does what he/she desires and this way will enjoy learning. It is very difficult to learn when one is not dedicated and is not enjoying it at all.
From my own personal experience, in school I never succeeded in the subjects which I did not enjoy. I was told my many of my teachers that I am capable and I just need to make an effort. However, no matter how much I tried, after I struggled to succeed, I yet again resulted in failure. Now that I chose health and social care to be the beginning of my career path, I am finding it very interesting and am enjoying the course. I am dedicated and determined to do well, and feeling this way from within helps me to learn more effectively.
4. Teachers –
Every teacher has their own unique learning style. This can produce various teaching methods which can be suited for some learners and not others. Every learner has their own way of working, but must adapt to the teachers teaching style. This can influence learning in both a positive way and a negative way. If a teacher taught in my desired learning style this can make my learning easier as I am getting taught the way I find best. However, if a teacher using another method, this can make my learning more difficult and I would just have to adapt to his/hers teaching style. This can have a negative influence in my learning.
5. Targets –
Everybody learns to achieve something. Learners should often remind themselves as to why they are learning in this specific field and what do they wish to gain from it. Goals and ambitions should be put into consideration and learners should always remember their aims. From doing this, I have become more motivated which has again helped me and has had a positive effect on my learning.
In school, I had no aims and no ideas of what career path I wanted to follow. However, I now had to choose what I wanted to do and have chosen to work in the health and social care sector. Becoming a social worker is my target and I know I can only reach this if I work hard, and this helps me to enjoy learning so I can progress.
During my early years of learning I found it very difficult to learn. This is because I had no self – discipline and low self – esteem. I thought of myself as low, and this caused me to have no interest in learning. However, as I grew older and was on GCSE level, my teachers and even my family helped me to think better of myself by praising me for every little good I did and making me feel certain that I was capable of working hard. Thanks to them, I have broken these barriers I had inside me and now work myself to the fullest. I am a dedicated learner and wish to do well in every area of my life.