Kinaesthetic learners

Now term has really started I thought we would look at our more practical – touch, feel, do learners. They have a rather long name and are called Kinaesthetic learners.  I think I must be predominantly this type as anything practical attracts me first. Probably why my subject is Design technology, resistant materials, graphic, control technology and textiles as they are all things that you do!.

For Kinaesthetic learners generally they enjoy learning that involves physical experience – touching, feeling, holding, doing, practical hands-on experiences.

The base of the word comes from the Greek  kineo, meaning move, and aisthesis, meaning sensation Hence the name Kinaesthetic describes the sense of using muscular movement so for us teachers that means we need to look at teaching/learning experiences that include within the term some work that involves the stimulation of nerves in the body’s muscles, joints and tendons.  For Design Technology, PE, Music it is commonplace to find this type of activity, but how do you ensure those with this type of learning experience it at least a  few times per term in Maths for example? This is the conundrum for all of these styles how do you ensure you reach your learners and support them with their style of learning. For me having a  check list per activity when planning means that over each half term I have a general idea of which style I have used mostly in order that I can change the balance over the next term or if revising a fact/ module of work find another way of demonstrating it i.e.. if It was mainly visual learning first time then revise with the visual reminder but back up with a  practical (kinaesthetic) activity.

If you are unsure which type you are then you can find out using the link below.

or try the free test on – http://www.businessballs.com/vaklearningstylestest.htm

Vocational and academic education will only be valued equally when they are equally valuable.

I was very interested in this speech this week.  It touches on the changes to education with the Butler Act and then to modern day.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-skills-summit-importance-of-technical-and-vocational-training

I have been an advocate of vocational and academic education being equally valued since my late teens. This was when I realised that my teachers were suggesting I studied economics, history and geography for A level and couldn’t see why I wanted to do woodwork and technical drawing, despite being involved with preparation for my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award where I chose practical options that I passed successfully at every stage.

In later years as a teacher in charge of a large group of over 200 children with very diverse skills and abilities I worked around the legislation at the time to ensure my children got the best for them to reach their potential. By the end of year 11 20 of my students had studied more technically practical subjects as well as the statutory English, Maths and Science. The subjects ranged from bricklaying to  painting and decorating.

Despite previous reservations it was recognised that the attendance and enjoyment of school improved and the young people left school with good results and in most cases ready made jobs in their chosen profession. They also had access to further training similar to todays modern apprenticeship. In comparison those who stayed on the traditional route found gaining jobs more tricky and two years down the line one of the original group was sponsored to a university place relating to the built environment.

For me its about Every child mattering –  as the saying goes – join this together with us needing to create wealth to ensure our economy grows and jobs for our young people to allow them to look after their families.

In my local area we are soon to see the University Technical College’s (UTC)  Engineering, Water and the Environment  planning application come into play as its journey to completion moves along. http://www.teignbridge.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=20814

A pre-planning consultation will now be held for local residents on Wednesday 5th February, 5-6.30pm, at Old Forde House, with the planning application being submitted during February.

Join the journey and follow its progress to ensure our young people really matter as individuals.

Design Technology – How to support EAL learners

Design Technology is a practical subject with elements that require explanation of ideas, development of ideas using a mix of drawing and text, planning and at the end of everything evaluation. These areas are often neglected to be mentioned by senior managers as they often believe that the written element is so small it contributes little to the practical component. However this is not true in the classroom.

In the classroom young people often find it difficult to express the ideas in their heads when the classroom language is English and their first language is the same, but put your self in the shoes of an eight or thirteen year old whose first language is not English.

It is worth thinking about this at the planning stages what tools, including websites and withdrawal classes for pre teaching support, will you ensure you have to hand to support the child through the learning process?

What words will the child need to know to effectively evaluate or predict? How will you ensure that they learn these academic words alongside the other skills and practical language and skills they are learning? What is your plan if some one new is integrated into the class when you have done the groundwork with others?

Pupils who are at the emergent, developing and consolidating levels of learning EAL will benefit from planned interventions and structures to ensure they develop the language skills they need to fully access the curriculum and produce work and portfolios at the appropriate level. This cannot be left to chance it must be planned for, including ensuring if words are to be learnt they are learnt in context. Too often classrooms and workshops that I have observed, have words that may appear random to someone with very or little language of the classroom. If you must put up words, use pictures to show the product/concept and a sentence with it in context for the children to use as their starting point.

One thing you can do is to recognise the benefits of pupils using their first language at all stages of the design process and also support them to keep the language alive as this supports 2nd language acquisition, increases their self-esteem and can lead to decreased bullying incidents.