My Learning Style – is it possible to have no preference??

I am reading Chapter 4 of Making Sense of Adult Learning, by Dorothy MacKeracher, where the author discusses a variety of learning styles that most people exhibit.  I am no stranger to the many ways a person can slice and dice their ways of getting along in the world, and have submitted to a number of profiling systems.  I know that I have ADHD (we figured that one out at the same time as my son was diagnosed, and I received my own diagnosis within the year). Keirsey says I am a Champion/Idealist, while Myers-Briggs says I am ENFP.  I am a Scorpio/Rabbit, and the element of water forms an important part of my personality, should you believe that sort of thing.

However, I am having trouble figuring out what my ideal learning style is, particularly as categorized by Kolb’s inventory of learning styles. None of the learning preferences listed in MacKeracher jump out at me.  Language-based learning comes easily, and I am OK with numbers, too.  I don’t even know whether I prefer visual, auditory or kinesthetic input.  I love colours, sound and motion.  I can memorize phone numbers using finger patterns or melodies.  Venn diagrams and spreadsheets help me categorize things.  I am quick with a metaphor, and believe that the human ability to recognize patterns is key to our intelligence.  But none of this helps me decide whether I am convergent, divergent, accommodating or assimilative in my learning style (MacKeracher, pp. 83-91)

This is something I am going to have to tease apart… I’d like to talk to other students about it, or draw a list of learning methods I like/don’t like, or ima
gine myself learning something quickly. Today I even took the time to fix a broken lamp, just so I could observe my own process of figuring out what to do, and then doing it.  But I don’t think I’m any closer.

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My First MA Assignment

This post was originally published at www.wordspring.ca – I’ll be crossposting to and from these two blogs quite a bit over the next months.

Today’s the day!  First day of class on the road to my Master’s degree.  I’ve already checked into Moodle and seen that 43 participants are with me in these courses in Learning and Technology, and that about thirty of them have checked in and got their assignment already.  I feel slow off the mark – but this isn’t the Amazing Race, right?  Well, it is a pretty amazing journey, anyway.

Here’s the quick version of what we are supposed to do between now and July 20th:

Read our assigned texts introducing various philosophies/theories of learning, and from this, write 900-1000 words describing the following:

Which philosphical orientation toward learning is the closest fit to my own?
  • Use evidence from the readings to support my position – the evidence can be quotations and paraphrases from my texts
  • Illustrate my points with examples from my own experience
    • This can include my own blog articles and quotes from texts that I have found influential, since I don’t have a professional organization that I am coming from.
The purpose of this first assignment is to establish a baseline for my critical thinking and writing skills – no letter grade will be given for this assignment.  Instead, we’ll receive comments about our:
  • writing style (APA)
  • critical thinking skills
  • ability to apply theory to practice
  • self-awareness
I haven’t read the text yet, but I know that I have a lot of experience to draw from, even if I have never stood at the front of a public classroom.  I’ll be drawing from my own experience
  • as a TESL student studying learning theory 23 years ago
  • as an adult learner
  • as a tutor
  • as an adult educator
  • as a “quick study”
I want to excel at this – as someone who has experienced my share of lumps in the work world as well as triumphs, this degree is perhaps the most important thing I have done to move ahead in my professional life.