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Learning Styles: The Collaborative Learner

By November 23, 2021Better Together Blog
Written by Dr. Connie Lawernce, Dean of Academics

Learning Styles: The Collaborative Learner

Did you know there are FOUR different types of learning styles?

While recognizing your students’ learning style may not directly improve their learning, it makes an incredible difference in their engagement and motivation toward the subject. Bernice McCarthy notes in her 4Mat System that although everyone has all four learning styles, there is almost always one preferred style.

PCA uses this method to engage your students when learning new concepts. In these upcoming articles, I will be discussing each of the four styles and how you can support your learners at home!

Who is the Collaborative Learner?

The Collaborative Learner is a people person who best processes new knowledge by learning alongside others. They are most comfortable grasping the big picture first and filling in the details later; however, it is important that they don’t miss the big picture as they process the experience. When encouraged to reflect on “How does this relate to my life?” they are able to connect new learning to prior knowledge.

The Collaborative Learner often processes through language. Sharing their learning with others helps them connect new information to prior knowledge (important for storage in long-term memory) and recalling the knowledge prompts the growth of pathways for easy access.

In fact, we would all benefit from talking out what we have learned because it forces us to draw bits of knowledge, stored in various parts of the brain during input, together into cohesive thoughts to express in output. Only when we can talk or write about what we know, are we truly consolidating cohesive memories that can be stored in long-term memory.

This learner is also sensitive and intuitive. They “feel” their world. For them, “the medium is the message” and they need to feel close relationships with teachers and others in the classroom. Because of the sensitivity, these learners are often the “glue” in organizations and remain connected to friends. They are empathetic and caring, but these wonderful qualities can also be overwhelming if someone takes advantage of their kindness.

When teaching this learner, the teacher can best motivate him or her with personal material and a caring relationship. These students do best when invited to enter the experience of the learning project.

Supporting Learning for the Collaborative Learner

  • Share stories of your learning. In return, listen to them share what they have learned.
  • Build study buddy relationships.
  • Dramatize learning; role play stories; or create new story endings- help personalize the new knowledge.
  • Have them share stories of learning with extended family members.
  • Encourage them to work through hurts
    •  Their sensitivity and intuition can cause them to perceive motive when none is intended. By encouraging and working with them you will be the “safe” person that guides them in problem-solving.

Learning Is For Everyone! As part of our partnership with parents, Portsmouth Christian Academy presents The LIFE Series. Dr. Connie Lawrence, PCA Academic Dean, hosts several parent sessions each year emphasizing important topics in education and child development. LIFE talks are open to all parents, both those families who have students that attend PCA and those who do not.

You are invited to register and attend one or all of the LIFE Series sessions. Learn more or register by following the link below.

Learn More & Register for LIFE Series

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