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How Do You Learn Best? By Watching, Reading, Hands On Or A Combination? | October 30, 2013

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#1 lorielle

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 11:59 AM

There are so many options these days for learning about ceramics.  How do you learn best? By watching, reading, hands on or a combination?  For me, watching combined with hands on seems to work the best.  Share with us the most effective way for you to learn.  Is there any particular experience that stands out for you?


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#2 JBaymore

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 06:23 PM

Great question this week.

 

Many years ago I was put in a position of doing a formal learning styles inventory on myself (part of being an educator for an organization).  The graph for me came out just about equal in all the modalities.  It was very interesting... because that was my own perception of how I tend to learn.  One aspect is not overly dominant for me.

 

One reason to know about this stuff as an educator is that unless you really work at it.... you will tend to teach to the modality that YOU learn best within.  That tends to "miss" those in your classes that don't "match".

 

best,

 

............................john


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#3 Biglou13

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 08:54 PM

That last sentence needs to sent to all teachers!

As a learner 50% hand on, 30% watching/listening 20% reading. But missing one part, the leraning curve becomes more difficult. With pottery the written/read part has been weak for me. (I haven't been to real school for it, yet). This forum and the Internet is what fills that 20%. I wish I had been given written material/ syllabus/ power points for the few classes that I've taken. Granted much of what iv've learned is visual, written material to review would have been put to good use. Those standard posters about centering, coning, cylinder, bowl, etc etc, have been golden as far as paper media goes.
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#4 Denice

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 07:50 AM

Visual learner, in  a classroom situation I had to sit at the front of the class and write extensive notes on the lecture.  Didn't realize I was a visual learner until college,  I would have done a lot better in high school.  I think the school system should come up with a simple test to see how each child learns and give them tools to use to enhance the learning process.   Denice



#5 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:23 AM

I am definitely a visual learner. I notice I follow assembling directions only flowing the diagrams.
I comprehend it much quicker than reading the directions.I always have to go back a re-read written directions. My Psych teacher in college told me I had an auditory memory meaning I could remember lectures verbatim. That was handy!.


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#6 Benzine

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 04:28 PM

I wouldn't say I'm equal parts of each, but definitely a good combination of hands on and auditory. I didn't study from my notes much in college, because I rarely missed class. And if I was in class taking notes, I remembered the lecture, while looking over the notes.
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#7 Babs

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 04:36 PM

As a teacher this is really relevant.

Personally I am a reader, hands on, I seem to turn off verbal instruction, and can't "see" enough during demos.

But the knowledge that other intelligences and modes of learning are out there really changes the way we teach and the assignment/assessment choices we give. 

I acknowledge the frustration of students when their learning is held back by delivery in a one mode form having sat thro' teachers going on and on..... whilst all I wanted to do was to read it for myself and get on with it.



#8 Celia UK

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 06:18 PM

While most people do have a predominant learning style, this is rarely to the exclusion of the others so it's important to take account of them all when teaching. Although individuals may have a preferred learning style, the content of the learning may also lend itself better to one style than another. I discovered quite late on in life that I was predominantly a visual learner which has helped me in my adult learning, and work. I do still place great store in the saying 'to hear is to forget, to see is to remember, to do is to understand.' I too wish some of my early educators had heard of VAK learning (not sure if this is a universal term or just UK - Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic) - it might have made some subjects more accessible. Computer technology has certainly given educators at all stages a tremendous opportunity to 'reach' many more learners - bringing abstract concepts, historical events, geographical and physical phenomena etc. to life through video, interactive whiteboards and the Internet. YouTube is my number one ceramics teacher and it's free! I also read books and Ceramic Arts Daily articles avidly. After that it's all down to practice, practice, practice......

#9 Tarheeler

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 08:11 PM

Hands-on; it really doesn't sink in until I get my hands dirty and figure it out myself.



#10 Pres

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 12:11 AM

I too was one to find out the hard way. All through HS I found I really didn't have to study, it was just to simple until 12. I was transferred into a new school, half year late into trig, and chemistry. Disastrous, as I really did not know how to study. I really didn't learn that until floundering along in college for two years in Math and Science major. Flunked out, went back in under probation, took notes, recopied and condensed every weekend, recopied again before mids and finals, never crammed after that. I always had good grades in shops, and labs, just not at classroom. Pointed out that I was not auditory learner, more hands on and visual. To this day, someone can read a paragraph to me and I don't put it together unless I read it. When you combine that with hard of hearing as I got later in life.... I ended up sitting closer to front in faculty meetings etc. Some thought I was browning, I just couldn't hear. Took retiring to be able to afford hearing aids! If I want to learn something, I am driven until I not just learn, but master.


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#11 chromelure

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:24 PM

I had a teacher through high school, Greg Brantmon, who was excellent. He was a student of psychology and human behavior. He had a passion for art in general. These things combined created an effective teacher but also he was a life changing influence on everyone that I know who was lucky enough to know the man. He maintained his unique teaching style in the community classroom setting, and when we were working on pieces, or in a free work lab, he would apply the individual type of learning skills to that specific student. Furthermore, he would take the time to help us see through one another's perspective. This helped us communicate with one another and spread a collective creativeness through the classroom,

I would not expect this much in depth attention and energy from every teacher. I'm just making the point that this line of thinking highlighted in this thread has been a major contributor to who I am today.

I learn best from example, then imitation. I retain what I've learned best by writing highlights of what I read.

I thank all of you teachers who take the time and care to be better at reaching the students. Thank You so much!  



#12 Marc McMillan

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 03:56 PM

I'm a visual learner as well. I like watching and then trying myself...sometimes with lots of clay. Failure is an awesome teacher.

If you google Active Learning you will find an interesting pyramid describing how students learn. It rings quite true for me.



#13 Dharsi

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 09:27 PM

I am a math interventionist k-6 and posted above my desk is the quote, "If I can't learn the way you teach; will you teach the way I learn?"  Personally the way I learn best changes with my mood, attention/interest level, and the content.  



#14 Stellaria

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 11:02 PM

The way that I learn best is dependent on what I'm learning. If it's something that requires some muscle memory, like spinning or throwing pots, I needed a combination of watching, listening, and hands-on. And PRACTICE. I think those things are much like learning a musical instrument - REALLY hard to do from just a book.
But other things, like cooking, sewing, and knitting, I do a lot better with reading and photos or diagrams. The more detail on helpful little nuances the better. That is also how I tend to instruct.
Auditory on its own is very difficult for me - I generally need a tactile activity to keep me listening. In classes where most people would take notes, I could not because the act of writing took too much attention to listen at the same time. I found I did better with knitting while listening. I took knitting with me while I sat on a jury this summer, as well. It is something I can do without looking at it too much, and enabled me to stay alert and attentive. Without the handwork, my mind would've wandered terribly.

#15 Babs

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 01:22 AM

The way that I learn best is dependent on what I'm learning. If it's something that requires some muscle memory, like spinning or throwing pots, I needed a combination of watching, listening, and hands-on. And PRACTICE. I think those things are much like learning a musical instrument - REALLY hard to do from just a book.
But other things, like cooking, sewing, and knitting, I do a lot better with reading and photos or diagrams. The more detail on helpful little nuances the better. That is also how I tend to instruct.
Auditory on its own is very difficult for me - I generally need a tactile activity to keep me listening. In classes where most people would take notes, I could not because the act of writing took too much attention to listen at the same time. I found I did better with knitting while listening. I took knitting with me while I sat on a jury this summer, as well. It is something I can do without looking at it too much, and enabled me to stay alert and attentive. Without the handwork, my mind would've wandered terribly.

French revolution, Madame Guillotine! Knitting whilst heads rolled into basket!







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