by Cheryl Jackson Thursday August 27, 2009

I finally understand why I prefer piles over files, and why I'd rather learn something new by trying it than reading the instructions. I also know now why I run from stores that are chaotic and messy, and prefer ones where items are lined up in neat rows, by colour, or function. 

I'm a visual, global learner. This means I like to see what I'm learning,  get distracted by too much visual stimulation, and listen better while doodling (my colleagues can attest to this). I'm also a big picture thinker,  and tend to analyse the world in terms of relationships and connections rather than details.  It's also why I'm not a heart surgeon or a pilot. You'd much rather have an analytical thinker in those positions.

I've learned this from the book I just read as research for our upcoming Your Voice episode, Why Do Some Kids Hate School?  Titled "I Hate School", the book describes the factors at school that lead some kids to hate being there. It's based on learning styles, and while we've done a show on learning styles, and I've certainly read much about them, this book seemed to describe them in a way that was very clear to me.  Interestingly, the author describes herself as a visual, global learner. Perhaps that's why it made so much sense to me.

And there's the point. If she were my teacher, and I her student, I'd get a lot more out of her class because she might understand me better. If she also knew that I prefer a cold room over a hot one, lights that are not too bright, and a rocking chair at the back of the class in which to read, I'd be her top student, and I would love school.

Of course, there's more to liking school than lights and chairs, but it's a start. We'll find out what else matters when we talk to the experts. We're posting this episode September 18, about the time you might hear your child say "I hate school!"