VARK. If you are thinking that VARK is the sound made by a Czechoslovakian dog, then you were probably half asleep during this particular part of your teacher education. VARK is the mnemonic used for remembering the four different learning styles. The learning styles are, of course, Visual, Audio, Reading and Kinaesthetic. And each learning style needs to be catered to by a good teacher.
Around the world, those who provide teacher education are waking up to the fact that teachers these days have to know how to address all the different learning styles of their students. The days when the teacher just stood up the front of the class talking with a piece of chalk (or a whiteboard marker) in his/her hand are over. While this lecture-plus-chalkboard method of teaching was fine for the audio learner and had some effect with the reading learners, the visuals and the kinaesthetics were left out.
Classrooms are going to have to look different and provide lots of different learning opportunities. cheaphostingforum This is particularly the case for classrooms where the predominant culture is more kinaesthetically-focused. Classrooms in schools in these areas often have to have plenty of space for the kinaesthetics to move about – and plenty of pictures for the visuals. And the teaching may not even stay inside the classroom. Teacher education for those wanting to work in these areas often provides the necessary tools for this type of teaching.
What are some tools for catering to the different learning styles?
Audio: As well as using the traditional teacher-talk, you can also try using songs and rhymes. Videos also help audio learners, as audio learners often pick up a lot from the soundtrack and commentary.
Visuals: Pictures, illustrations and diagrams are vital for reaching visual learners. And, of course, videos are a key tool for explaining concepts to visual learners.
Kinaesthetics: Manipulatives (e.g. counters for math, Scrabble letters for spelling), hands-on activities, drama.
Reading: Textbooks, etc. If you have reader (meaning those who learn by reading) in your class and you are showing a video, don’t forget to turn the subtitles on to help them get the maximum opportunity.
Videos are brilliant for reaching a wide range of learning styles – even the kinaesthetics can benefit from watching a video (although you may have to let them move around and fidget a bit). And try making your own videos – your kinaesthetics will love the chance to get up and act for the camera (or figure out how to work the camcorder or webcam).
And don’t forget that videos can help you improve your teaching skills. Videos and online links to teachers demonstrating different classroom techniques are becoming a part of teacher education, with more and more textbooks and providers working with LessonLab to help teachers improve their skill by watching real lessons taught using new techniques in real classes.
For techniques using school videos and educational DVDs to help enhance your lessons and some important information on why using videos helps your different learners watch this free video and download the free Expert Guide to “The 7 Mistakes Teachers Make Using Video in the Classroom”.
The small company, SchoolVideos.com, I work for is committed to creating quality educational videos for classroom instruction. From the earliest script stages, all subject area content, images, and music are intensely reviewed and selected for meeting appropriate grade level, curriculum objectives and standards for our proprietary productions and the videos we select for distribution are also screened to meet our high standards for educational resources.
Teachers in the 21st Century classroom will be better educators if they understand how to use multi media in their lessons, if they understand the processes that research has shown to be the most effective for improved student performance and if they know how to find quality video resources that will enhance their lessons.