Just a quick idea that I use and it's very effective in opening teacher's minds to new ways of teaching.  I learned this in 4MAT training and have used it with other learning styles instruments.  Have the teachers take a learning styles assessment as you are already doing.  When they have their own results, divide the room according to their results, ie, have all the visual stand in one corner, all the auditory learners in another, the "hands-on" in another, etc.  Then ask them to look around at how many auditory learners there are.  This group is usually the smallest.  Then ask them how they teach.  Usually teachers lecture.  Yet, how many of us are auditory?  This is not foolproof and definitely not scientific.  But it works 99% of the time and makes a wonderful point.  By the way, I do not do this with high school or younger students beyond discussing how they can adapt their learning style to the teacher's style.  They feel stressed to have their individual behaviors discussed in a group environment.  But it works great for teachers.

Carolyn DeLorme, Director
University Learning Center
University of North Dakota
P.O. Box 9042
Grand Forks, ND  58202
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Office:  (701)777-4406
FAX:  (701)777-3397

>>> Mark May <[log in to unmask]> 08/08/00 08:29AM >>>
Have you conducted workshops for writing instructors or do you have
expertise with teaching or learning styles instruments?

I've been asked by the director of composition to help with a workshop for
fifty or so instructors.  The goal of the workshop is to try to get the
instructors to rethink their teaching methods--to gain an appreciation for
the different ways that students learn about the process of writing and to
gain an understanding of the assumptions underlying their own instructional

Our plan is to first give the instructors either a learning style inventory
or teaching style inventory and discuss their results. Second, to ask them
to write a brief essay on how they teach the concept of a thesis statement.
Third to break the instructors into small groups to discuss their own
process of writing the essay as well as their methods of teaching the
concept. Finally, to discuss what changes they might make in their
classroom based upon what they've learned during the workshop.

I'm asking for help in two areas. First, given a limited time frame, what
would you consider to be the best learning or teaching style inventory to
use (one that's readily available and quickly scored)? Second, what
suggestions do you have for the workshop?

I appreciate your help. Thanks.


Mark May
Learning Assistance Center
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

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