Teaching Every Individual Child

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Teaching Every Individual Child
In every classroom, in every school you will find students with different backgrounds, knowledge, abilities, and different learning styles, all of which should be acknowledged to maximize learning for all students. Since each student has his/her own dominate learning style they should not be expected to learn in a one size fits all classroom. The myriad teaching styles and techniques create a classroom in which how we teach is as important as what we teach.

“According to Howard Gardner, children are capable of at least eight distinct intelligences” (Berk, 2002). They are verbal/linguistic, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial, musical/rhythmic, bodily/kinesthetic, naturalist, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. A person with verbal/linguistic intelligence learns best through listening to verbal lectures, dialogue, debate, and impromptu speaking. Logical/mathematical intelligence shows strong math and problem solving skills, like to predict, analyze, and theorize, and recognizes relationships, connections, and patterns. A person who has visual/spatial intelligence usually has an active imagination. They like to use visual supports, such as videos, pictures, photos, charts, and posters. They have the ability to find their way mentally and physically around their environment. Musical/rhythmic intelligence is sensitive and drawn to sound. They can remember songs easily and have the ability to perceive pitch, tone, and rhythmic pattern. People that have bodily/kinesthetic intelligence use their bodies to accomplish a task. They like to get up and move around, they like to use fine and gross motor skills, and learn topic or idea with a physical gesture associated. A naturalist enjoys the outdoors; they like to categorize objects, and study books and videos about nature. A person who has interpersonal intelligence knows and interacts successfully with others. They enjoy working with, caring for and, learning with others. They have the ability to understand different points of view. A person with intrapersonal intelligence enjoys solitude, and contemplation. They learn best through introspection, reflection, and individual think time (Brualdi, 1996).

Given that all students learn differently, there is no one teaching strategy or technique that proves effective for all students, in every situation. For this reason, students’ learning cannot be successful unless the teaching style compliments the students’ learning style. Teachers must be flexible and use several different teaching styles and techniques to encourage students to reach their full learning potential. There are some teachers that feel classes should be teacher-centered, where as the teacher is the expert and in charge of presenting information. The two approaches that are teacher-centered are Formal Authority and Demonstrator (Teaching Styles). Formal Authority is the teacher-centered approach where the teacher controls the flow of information. In this approach the teacher does not focus on building the teacher-student relationship or the importance of fostering relationships between the students. There is not a lot of student participation expected by the teacher. The advantage of this approach is that the main focus is on the expectations and what the teacher feels is the acceptable way of doing things. The disadvantage is this approach can lead to rigid, less flexible ways of managing students (Teaching Styles).

The Demonstrator approach is also a teacher-centered approach, in which the teacher demonstrates and models the skills that are expected by the students. The teacher will guide the students in using knowledge and information. Students are encouraged to participate and make the most of different learning styles. “The advantage is there is an emphasis on direct observation and following a role model” (Teaching Styles). The disadvantage is that some teachers may feel that their approach is the best way causing some...
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