As mentioned in the previous article, “VARK Learning Styles and Differentiated Instruction”, there are primarily four types of learners (Fleming and Mills, 1992). Growing up, all types of learners face changes and challenges. Stress, by extension, plays a big part in the learner’s emotional life. Knowing how to cope with stress is hence the key to learning healthily. Depending on the learner’s preferred learning modalities, teachers may advise corresponding stress-relief measures.
Choosing the effective stress-relief measure
- The Visual & Read/Write Learner: The teacher can ask the student to keep a journal and use it as an outlet for their frustration. After the student feels that they have expressed themselves adequately through writing, they may choose to share how they feel with the teacher after class. This trains the student to stay composed during class and let off steam only at the right time. Alternatively, the student can seek art therapy to channel their emotions through artistic creation.
- The Auditory Learner: When the student is nervous and anxious, the teacher can stop the student’s current activity and count down with them from ten to one. The student may then resume work, after having recovered from their apprehension. On the other hand, when facing challenges by themselves, the student can use self-reminders (see the image above) to stay positive.
- The Kinesthetic Learner: When feeling stressed, the student can use stress-relief toys (see the image above). These toys are meant to help the student vent their anger, anxious feelings, and stress on an object by squeezing. Under the teacher’s supervision, the student can also make crumpled paper balls and throw them into the trash can, as a symbolic act of discarding their worries. In addition, it helps to be in an open space and take deep breaths to relax.
Parents can provide customised support
Every student has their own attributes and preferences. Depending on their children’s personal needs, parents can customise the study plan.
- Visual Teaching: If, in the learning process, the student shows a preference for using their visual senses, parents can create visual learning materials to facilitate the student’s studying. For instance, parents can turn texts into graphics, such as mind maps, timelines, diagrams, comparison charts, or even animations and narratives, to help their children grasp new concepts and the connection among them.
- Auditory Teaching: If, in the learning process, the student shows a preference for listening and speaking, parents can use dialogues to present new concepts, then ask the student to reiterate what they have learnt. Parents can also ask the student to read passages aloud and answer questions, allowing the student to identify the key messages and present them in their own ways.
- Read/Write Teaching: If, in the learning process, the student shows a preference for reading and writing, parents can practise guided reading and go through the text materials with the student. Parents can encourage note-taking, reinforcing the student’s memory of the new information. On top of that, parents can prepare written tasks for the student, allowing them to reacquaint themselves with old topics.
- Kinesthetic Teaching: If, in the learning process, the student shows a preference for using their tactile senses and doing hands-on tasks, parents can use animated learning materials to help the student understand abstract concepts. One example is asking the student to role-play, when teaching historical events. Another example is asking the student to rearrange a list of historical figures, events, and years in chronological order, thus developing their differentiation skill.
In conclusion, no two students are the same. Teachers and parents can take notes of students’ learning preferences and practise diversified teaching accordingly.
VARK Learn Limited (2022).Retrieved from https://vark-learn.com/vark%E5%95%8F%E5%8D%B7/ on 1st Nov 2022.
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