different learning styles for young children

As an old [in all senses] Montessori teacher, I’ve got my biases on this topic but there’s some evidence to support it. This is the perspective:

I do not think human children have different learning styles. Here is why:

–We are an astounding species of mammal but we are mammals nonetheless. Do chimp infants have different learning styles? Do puppies, baby raccoons? They all play, watch their parents, try things.

–What Maria Montessori figured out about 80 years ago was that human children learn through their hands, by absorbing abstract ideas through concrete materials.

–The differences in learning style theory has been debunked. Here’s one article:  https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/mar/13/teachers-neuromyth-learning-styles-scientists-neuroscience-education-

–The apparent huge differences in children’s learning abilities can be attributed to the differences in very early learning experiences and more profoundly to the fears, tensions, and grief so many of our children carry.  We can help children by encouraging the laughter [without tickling], tears, and yes tantrums to unload those obstacles to clear-headed learning.

And have you read Patty Wipfler’s new book Listening?  The best.



One thought on “different learning styles for young children

  1. Hi Margot,

    I’m not sure about this. I agree that we are all capable of learning in and out of school, communicating what we learn, passing exams when necessary, etc. But think people tend to process information differently. Yes, we all learn best through the concrete. Piaget said nearly the same thing though he was way off in what he thought babies could learn.

    What I mean is that some of us first grasp the general idea and then digest the details, while others do the opposite. They come to understand the wider concept through putting all the details together. This is one kind of difference. Another is that some people reach understandings through writing while others need to paint something or picture it visually for full comprehension. I’m sure there are other differences.

    Ultimately we are all capable of doing it all, but I think the ease with which we do/understand things differs with something innate or learned very young.


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