For the team’s set of student interviews, the subjects consisted of a variety of ethnicities and ages. The 20 interviews consisted of seven Chuukese students, three Chamorro students, one Palauan student, one Pohnpeian student, one Samoan student, and seven students who fell into mixed ethnicities (see Appendix). The students’ ages range from 13 through 18 years of age with 11 females and 9 males. These students were chosen from a sample of Micronesian students and students studying in Micronesia.
The aim of these interviews was to determine the preferred learning styles of our students, the majority of which are Micronesian. Since the shift in the pedagogy from teacher-centered to student-centered strategies within the classroom, it is pertinent to focus on the way students absorb and respond to learning. These methods of responses, or “learning styles,” are categorized into three separate components: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Educational developer Neil Fleming designed the popular questionnaire that determined a person’s learning style. Originally coined VARK (visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic), the theory has since then evolved into the VAK learning style that many educators are familiar with and use. The following explains this to students and enables them to identify their preferred learning styles.
* relates to Visual/Spatial Intelligence and 35% of people learn this way * they learn best by seeing, picturing, reading and imagining, watching facial expressions and prefer making posters and diagrams
* relates to Linguistic Intelligence and 25% of people learn this way * they learn best by discussing, talking, understanding things in their own words, listening for emphasis and voice tone and prefer conversation
* relates to Physical Intelligence and 40% of people learn this way * they learn best by doing things themselves, watching body language, remembering activities, meeting people and prefer direct involvement
Several studies support the notion that awareness of a student’s learning style will influence student achievement. However, other studies indicate that despite the amount of evidence that supports the benefits of instructional interventions and teacher awareness, there is a limited number of studies that actually put these into practice. Therefore, there is a significant lack of proof to “justify incorporation learning-style assessments into general education practice” (Pashler et al, 2009, p. 105).
Team Member A conducted her interviews within a classroom setting. One hundred twenty high school sophomores were given questionnaires that were filled out during class, and from those five were selected for further questioning. These five students were asked to come in during lunch. In that time, they were given a new questionnaire to fill out, while Santiago went through each question orally with each student.
On the other hand, Team Member B decided to opt for a more intimate setting. Because she was not currently within a classroom, she invited children of high school age to her home where a home-cooked meal was offered to encourage a…