Learning styles are determined by the dominance of a certain group of methods in the general system of learning methods and techniques. They act as a way of the teacher’s attitude towards teaching and communication.
Reproductive learning styles. The main feature of the reproductive style is to convey to learners a number of obvious knowledge. A teacher shall simply describe the content of the material and check its level of assimilation. Only regulated or dogmatized knowledge is considered in this model. Students’ opinions are simply not taken into account. Reproductive learning is based on a system of teacher’s requirements for fast, accurate and lasting absorption of knowledge, skills and competencies.
In the context of reproductive learning, students’ memory is overloaded while other mental processes (perception, imagination, thinking) are blocked. This can lead to increased fatigue and loss of interest in learning. As a result of such learning, the pupil does not know how to make independent decisions, gets used to subordination, and becomes a passive performer and functionary.
Creative Learning Styles Series: The Interpersonal Learner. Its core is to encourage students to be creative in cognitive activities, as well as the teacher’s support for the initiatives of his subjects. In doing so, the teacher selects the content of the learning material according to the criteria of problem. In the process of presenting the problem, he seeks to build a dialogue with his students. The teacher’s creative approach to the pedagogical process is characterised by the following messages: “compare”, “prove”, “highlight the main thing”, “make a choice and argue it”, “offer your variant”, “explain and make a conclusion”. With this style of teaching, students’ activities are partly search, search, problem, and even research.
Emotional-value learning style. Provides personal inclusion of students in the educational process at the level of value-based perception of learning material and the spiritual and moral image of the teacher himself. This is only possible with the emotional openness of the teacher, a genuine interest in his subject. This style implies that the teacher has the ability to empathize and to organize the educational process in a dialogical way. The effectiveness of this way of organizing learning is enhanced if the teacher builds relationships with students on the basis of emotional and trustful communication, cooperation, and respect for each individual. In this style, the following forms of appeal to the student are most acceptable: “give an assessment”, “express your attitude, opinion, understanding”, “give your interpretation of the event, fact, phenomenon,” “imagine figuratively what is more valuable and meaningful to you”, “write up, invent. An emotionally-valuable teacher encourages students to reflect.
- effectively develops the pupil’s imaginative thinking and emotional and moral sphere of his personality, stimulates self-reflection and self-knowledge, self-discovery of creative abilities and value attitude to the world;
- teaches emotional and dialogical communication with the person, cooperation and mutual respect, recognition of his or her worth.
Since learning involves both teaching (student) and teaching (teacher), a certain style of learning requires that the student and the teacher have appropriate styles of activity. Let us consider the teaching style in more detail.
The use in the activity of those techniques that, with the existing properties of the nervous system allow to achieve success in the work – this is the way different people achieve the same high level of skill. A adaptation of the properties of the nervous system to the requirements of the activity and is the formation of an individual style. Consequently, life does not select the teacher of people with certain properties, and makes each of them (if the real desire to reach the heights of professional skill) to develop in the process of teaching their style of activity.
The individual style of activity is usually understood as a certain system of reasonable ways of actions caused by features of nervous system thanks to which people with various typological properties achieve equally high results in activity, using thus different techniques and ways of work, most of all corresponding to their individuality.
Significant advances in filling the content of the concept of individual style have been made by the psychologists: from the methods of establishing contact with the classroom by the teacher to the technique of creating an image of the teacher, including teaching the teacher a style of communication and gesticulation, causing positive emotional states of students.
The following points are essential in forming an individual style:
- Since the individual style (IP) of activity is an expression of a person’s individuality in a particular work, it cannot be mistaken;
- IP is developed under the influence of the general goal of activity and the subject’s ideas about its success;
- the greatest success of the activity is ensured by the activity developed by the IP.
IP is formed over a long period of time. The speed of its formation can be different for different people, but in general, it is necessary to take into account general regularities of IP formation. For example, according to the data obtained within the framework of age psychology, stabilization in career, which implies stabilization of one’s own work styles, occurs from 27 to 32 years old.
The spontaneous formation of style, which usually takes place in school practice, is not only a conscious selection by the teacher of the ways of action corresponding to the tasks of the lesson and his or her own abilities, but also an unconscious account of his or her own deposits. The most convenient ways of action cause a feeling of comfort. Gradually they are realized and fixed in activity. For success, the way of solving a professional problem is necessary. Every teacher searches and with varying success finds the optimal way of doing things that best suits his natural data.