The term "cognitive style" refers to the way a person processes information in his/her head in a way that is distinctive to that individual. A person is set in a particular cognitive style from birth. In contrast, learning style is a manner in which a learner interacts with and responds to the learning material or environment. A person's cultural background may influence his learning style. The student may also use a different learning strategy depending on the task.
Teachers can tailor learning experiences to differentiate among the individual needs of students in the classroom. There are many learning styles, yet some of the most common are: visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
Cognitive Learning Styles of Children describes the characteristics of these learners as well as the types of activities in which they best thrive, with the caveat that it is only learning styles being described, to be distinguished from cognitive styles (holistic, analytic, field-dependent, etc.). Cognitive styles and learning styles are important concepts in the study of education. For a time, people used the two terms interchangeably, but experts today study both types of styles individually to determine the best methods for educating children in the classroom who may learn or process information differently from their peers.
Teachers can also differentiate by matching assignments to readiness levels, offering appropriate intervention or extension activities as required. Allowing children to select activities based on areas of interest is another great way to differentiate. Offering choices is an excellent motivator for kids.
Small-group work is one of the most effective ways to meet the needs of diverse learners in large class settings.
Ms. Nora Sierra
Early Childhood Assistant Principal