What is Accelerated Learning, and How Can it Boost Your Child’s Attainment?
As a parent or teacher, there’s nothing you love more than a technique that can help you boost a child’s attainment at school. So if you haven’t heard about ‘Accelerated Learning’, you’re in for a treat. The point of this post is to examine what accelerated learning is, and how it can help improve how we teach our children. Read on if you’d like to know more!
It’s All About Learning Styles
You will no doubt have encountered the idea that everybody has a different learning style. Well, accelerated learning is a way of taking that idea and applying it to real world, practical teaching. It’s the result of extensive research into intelligence, and not just regular old IQ, but different forms of intelligence too.
So what different kinds of intelligence are there, and how does each kind of learner actually learn best?
Logical-mathematical is fairly self explanatory. Anybody with this kind of learning specialism will do best when they’re forced to think things through on their own. They’re especially good at calculating, figuring out puzzles and problems, and using questions to narrow down an answer. Sort of like the game 20 Questions!
Children with a logical-mathematical mindset will benefit from being shown a method, and left to apply it and calculate through it by themselves. A great example is algebra, where a simple set of rules is all you need to know to solve any equation. Children who specialise in logical-mathematical thinking will, unsurprisingly, excel in mathematics but perhaps not fare so well in creative pursuits.
Intrapersonal learners are the epitome of DIY. If your child or pupil is an intrapersonal learner, it means that they prefer to work alone, not to collaborate, and will benefit from being left to do so. These learners prefer setting their own goals and thinking quietly rather than ‘brainstorming’ to try and find a solution.
An intrapersonal learner shouldn’t be discouraged from daydreaming, doodling and not joining in as readily with group work. Really, all they’re doing is engaging their brain- just in a different way to the rest of the group! These learners can be some of the most creative, but will of course struggle to adjust to group work. So rather than pressure them to join in more than they are comfortable with, let them do their own thing!
Interpersonal learners are the exact opposite! Rather than coming up with a solution all by themselves, interpersonal learners prefer to work in groups. That’s not because they can’t come up with ideas by themselves, but because they’re great at organising a group, and refining an idea as part of a team.
Interpersonal learners are excellent organisers, and do well in group games, community events and after-school groups too. So where they might excel in P.E. or drama because of their outgoing and social nature, they might do less well when tasked with quiet reading or creative pursuits on their own. This is because they don’t have other group members to bounce ideas off, and won’t be able to give direction to their thoughts as a result. Group discussions about homework can help interpersonal learners overcome that barrier.
Spatial learners specialise in how things fit together and interact. They’re great at picturing in their mind how something will look once they’re done modifying or tinkering with it, so are great with LEGOs and puzzles! But unlike logical-mathematical minds, spatial learners are more creative and physical than abstract and technical.
As you can probably imagine, spatial learners can express themselves in two different ways. First, through creative and artistic output which relies on fitting parts together into a cohesive whole: collages, video or movie productions and designing puzzles. But their spatial nature also lends itself well to engineering and building, since an engineer has to picture what they’d like to build and whether it would stand up or come crashing down!
Bodily-kinaesthetic learners are what we also call physical or ‘hands-on’ learners. Children with this specialised way of learning prefer physical lessons at school like P.E. and Drama, just like interpersonal learners- not because they’re working in teams, but because they like to express themselves and learn physically.
Besides these obvious examples, these learners also benefit from hands on learning in other subjects. Tactile learning, be that making sculptures or in wood work, is also what they really excel at. And in other subjects like English and Maths, especially in the early years, these learners will find it much easier if they’re given hands-on games to play with: building blocks, puzzles they have to re-arrange, and so on.
Linguistic learners learn the ‘old-fashioned way’- through reading, writing and listening! If only every child were the same, teachers would probably have a far easier (although probably a less fun) time teaching. These students prefer studying books, listening to tapes and researching to find the answers they need.
Younger linguistic learners prefer word games, and telling/listening to stories, rather than getting ‘hands-on’ with their learning. That’s why children who specialise in linguistic learning will excel at English, History and other similar subjects. On the other hand, they might struggle with creative pursuits like art and music. So encourage them to study different styles, and to try and put them into practice!
Musical learners are the forgotten ones of the bunch! If you didn’t know, there are some children who find it much easier to learn through music than through any other way. These learners pick up information as quick as you like through listening to songs, singing along, and even whistling and tapping their feet to the music. This helps them to cement the information in their mind.
Obviously, children like these are typically miles ahead in one subject: music! But, especially in the early years, musical learners benefit from sing-alongs and being sung to. So the more ways that you can think of to incorporate music into their learning, the better.