Exploring Learning Styles: Developing a Flexible
The sixth annual Pedagogy Saturday was titled "Exploring Learning Styles: Developing A Flexible Teaching Approach." This all-day event was devoted to an in-depth study of how different students learn, and how to reflect those differences in our teaching approaches. For most teachers, the "default" teaching style is a combination of how we were taught and our own learning style. With some students, this can be quite successful; but many of our students will have a different learning style than us, and we must learn how to adjust our approach. Pedagogy Saturday VI addressed this issue from the viewpoints of both learning styles and child development.
The opening session was a high-energy presentation by Earl Oremus, the headmaster of Marburn Academy, a school especially designed for children with learning differences such as dyslexia and AD/HD. Oremus explained how teachers could use his intuitive/non-intuitive learner concept to create successful learning experiences for their non-intuitive students. This was followed by two sets of four concurrent breakout sessions presented by experts in the field of child development: Kenneth Guilmartin, The Very Young Beginner; Donna Brink Fox, The Elementary-Aged Student; Kim Dolgin, The Adolescent Student; and Judith Piercy, The College Student. Following the lunchtime round table discussions, moderated by Tom Pearsall, Educational Psychologist Keith Golay presented the "Temperament Teaching Model." This model described how to increase student achievement by teaching to temperament-based learning styles. In this session participants identified their own personality type and explored the implications it had for teaching and learning. The next session returned to the child development theme: Two concurrent sets of panelists watched video clips of teaching situations and then commented on the teaching and learning styles that were apparent. We then returned in plenary session to watch Golay react to several video clips of teachers and students, to learn how he classified the learning and teaching styles presented. The day concluded with a joyous celebration of successful teaching with a performance by the Starling Chamber Orchestra from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
We are delighted to bring you the sessions by Golay and many of the special speakers. You will read commentaries by professional teachers and pedagogy students, with their reactions and reflections on the sessions, and highlights of the lunchtime discussions. Rebecca Rischin has written a summary report of the entire day.
The Pedagogy Saturday Committee is grateful to all the participants of Pedagogy Saturday VI--the speakers, teachers, panelists, commentators, moderators and the wonderful audience--all of whom made it such an exciting and successful day. Our heartfelt thanks go to Marcie Gerrietts Lindsey, MTNA director of communications, and the rest of the MTNA communications staff for their tireless work producing these Proceedings. Sincere thanks also go to Jennifer Martin, MTNA director of meetings and special projects, for her extensive and invaluable help planning Pedagogy Saturday. We hope this publication will allow many teachers and students who were unable to attend the actual sessions to benefit from the thinking of this unique network of music teachers.