The Blog

As a newspaper columnist, Nancy Devlin, Ph.D. has written over 700 articles on subjects related to education and parenting. Welcome to her Classroom!

Learning Styles


Children who have different learning styles require programs

which take into account these differences. Schools need to

develop curricula for children who develop at different rates.

There are some late blooming children who, if not allowed to

develop at their own pace, may begin to think of themselves as

unintelligent and become discouraged with learning. They may

even be given a label of learning disabled.


Children categorized as learning disabled generally show a

discrepancy between expected and actual achievement in one or

more areas such as spoken or written language, mathematics and

spatial orientation. This discrepancy usually is not the result

of sensory, motor, intellectual or emotional handicap and is not

supposed to be caused by a lack of opportunity to learn.


The child may have had the opportunity to learn but he may

not have had a program geared to his learning style. Some

children require the identification of an appropriate teaching

strategy and possibly individualized instruction in order to

master the curriculum.


Parents need to be aware of this in order to monitor their

child’s progress and program at school.


The following is a list of behavioral traits compiled by Dr.

Robert J. Schoonover, that parents can observe which would alert

them to the possibility that their child might have difficulty

with the school curriculum:

l. Difficulty with concepts of time and space.

These children cannot tell where one place is in relation to

another. They have no sense of time and learning to tell time is

difficult for them.

2. Poor sense of rhythm.

These children cannot learn poems or nursery rhymes because they

have no sense of rhythm. They cannot reproduce a series of

rhythmic taps.

3. Poor awareness of their own bodies.

These children have a poor body image. They may not know the

difference between right and left on their bodies and tend to

avoid activities that require skilled movement.

4. Poor ability to combine movement and vision.

They cannot follow moving targets and cannot judge distance or

direction by vision alone. They cannot catch or bat a ball.

5. Visual inefficiency.

Even with perfect vision some children do not notice things and

may not use their eyes to look at things at a distance.

6. Poor listening ability.

Some children can attend only to short sentences.They miss most

of what is said because they process information so slowly.

Others confuse words that sound alike. There are children who

cannot function when there is competing background noise.


7. Poor generalization.

Some children cannot generalize from their experiences. A child

who cannot see what corn, beans and potatoes have in common cannot

generalize to the word “food.”

8. Problems in attention.

Children must be able to focus or fix their attention on a task

to succeed in school. Some children are very distractible and

cannot screen out extraneous stimuli. There are other children

who focus on unimportant details and disregard the essentials.


It is important for parents to understand their child’s

learning style not only to monitor the school’s program but also

to supplement it at home. There are many good books on this

subject which are available through your librarian. I encourage

you to us them.



Posted in Behavior, Educational Reform, From Experience, Getting the Most For Your Child, Labeling, Parenting, Teachers | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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