Teaching methods should accommodate learning styles


Sydney Tucker

*out of 312 students surveyed *students could select multiple options

Sydney Tucker, opinions editor

Different types of learners exist all over the world, and they often benefit from instruction geared toward their individual learning styles. Students can approach teachers one-on-one for extra assistance, but not all teachers have disposable time to provide thorough understanding and guidance for those whose learning styles differ from the one that the teacher prefers.

“It really depends on the teacher; each teacher has a different style of presenting information. For example, some teachers lecture, use worksheets, group work, videos or stations,” junior Claire Jones said. “Sometimes a certain teacher won’t apply to some people’s learning style but really help others.”

Students have always been expected to stay on track with the curriculum in every class and the pacing that each teacher has chosen. This means that students who struggle to understand the content are left to play a game of catch-up. At some schools, such as Mountain View High School, students are allowed to choose the pace of their learning, so if one student works faster than another, they can advance to the next unit. This approach proves to be beneficial for students because it allows them to take the needed time to grasp the concepts, and some even graduate early if they work hard and fast enough.

“The class should not be forced to work at the same pace but should just all be given the course Khan Academy-style where they have to work through it and complete it on their own, with the teacher as a resource in addition to the multitude online,” sophomore Cindy Wu said.

Each type of learner picks up information best using different methods, which often means that a student who is a hands-on learner may have more trouble in a class in which the teacher’s primary method of teaching is lectures. Hands-on learners may prefer to do interactive activities in the classroom, auditory learners may enjoy being assigned recordings to listen to and visual learners may desire in-class presentations.

“I don’t really think the standard way of teaching applies to everyone because everyone is different,” junior Shruti Elango said. “Everyone retains information differently so assuming that everyone will learn the same way is incorrect.”

A multitude of teachers grew up in a learning environment based mostly on lecturing and they have adopted this into their own teaching styles, causing a stagnant learning environment with little room to address differences in learning.

While school may be too large of an institution to cater to each student’s individual learning styles, it is still possible to reach out to teachers and friends. Numerous people can gladly help by providing a one-on-one approach that may be a more suitable method for certain students.

“More students will benefit if school catered to different learning types as it gives an opportunity for everyone to understand the lessons instead of just a fraction of students who like that teacher’s teaching style,” Elango said. “It’s a matter of catering to the students to learn rather than sticking to one safe teaching method.”