SAE Project 3: What Type of Learner Am I?

o by Siobhon van der Merwe on 500px.com

I’ve always had a problem with my learning, ever since I was very young. The academic side of school was always a constant struggle for me, and the higher the grade, the more challenging it became. By year 10 things were becoming almost impossible for me, which was when they tested me, and found I have ÷≥Dyspraxia.

It is not one of those things that you can just fix, or grow out of. I will always have dyspraxia. Dyspraxia affects my ability to process things. A simple explanation would be the sum, 3 + 2 = 5. Turn the numbers around to 2 + 3, and I have to relearn that as a new concept rather than seeing the pattern in the numbers. If I can submit it to my long term memory that helps, but there is not  necessarily an understanding as to why, only a rule which I have learnt has to be applied when numbers are switched.  And if I am very tired, then it becomes harder to remember.  

It makes the transfer of knowledge from one area to another very difficult for me. I see it a lot in my music. A classical sonata, for instance has a very strict structure, that even with different composers, the form will always be the same, even though their style of music is dramatically different. I know this, but I still have to learn every sonata like it is new to me. A bit like reinventing the wheel every time you go for a drive!  You would think because I can explain it to you I should be aware of it and therefore able to fix it.  If it only it were that simple.  Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way!  Its very hard sometimes, especially if there is a limited time to learn something in.

Like I said in a previous blog, I have learned, and am still learning to make friends with that part of myself. It is very frustrating, especially when you are ambitious.  School was tough because you tend to be judged on your marks. I was lucky, I played the piano, so I had something of my own I was good at, and could feel successful over. Not everyone with a learning difficulty has that, I was fortunate.

The website I found to analyse what kind of learner I was asked 20 questions which I did my best to answer truthfully. The end results showed that I was:

  • 40% Auditory.
  • 40% Visual.
  • 20% Tactile/Kinaesthetic. (EducationPlanner.org, 2011)

For the purposes of this blog I did only one test but for future reference it may be a good idea to take more than one test to ensure a more accurate result. The quiz not only told me what type of learner I was, but also gave me tips on what is best for this learning type.

For an auditory learner it is said that we can improve our learning by siting where you can hear, using flashcards to learn new words; read them out loud, read stories, assignments, or directions out loud and study new material by reading it out loud.

For a visual learner it is said that we can improve learning by sitting in the front of the class, using flash cards and colour coding, among many others (which I do a lot of).

I am always open to trying new things to improve my academic performance and so I plan on taking these tips and using them to my advantage. Maybe combining the two recommended learning styles. I also like to get someone to ask me questions and come at the same subject from different angles so I am sure I understand. By improving the ways in which I learn, I will be able to improve as a student, learn to cope with dyspraxia and how to overcome and manage the areas of learning I really struggle with.  The reality is I will always struggle, but the more aware I am, the more I will learn how to compensate for those areas of weakness. I will always be learning, and it is my hope to carry these improvements I build on, not only into all aspects of my film work, but into my life as well.

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