The Learning vs. Testing posts are in a series – this is a continuation from 3-2-2011 of the preface.

For these students, a mismatch occurs between how they learn, store and retrieve information and the way in which they are required to output what they have learned – on written tests.

These written tests may be multiple choice, short answer, essay or standardized.  The learning and memory processes required to answer the questions are similar.

Students who have stored the material they have learned in styles that are not aligned with the type of test they are taking often find they either cannot translate what they know into written form or they cannot retrieve the informational quickly enough to form their answers.

When they attempt to use an auditory or kinesthetic modality to retrieive and write down information for these tests, they are often frustrated and hindered in their efforts due to the mismatch involved.  Ultimately, they have a clash between learning and testing styles. This mismatch will not allow them to “show what they know” easily and heavily contributes to their lower grades, and may even be a cause of poor test scores nationwide.

My son, J.P. is a wonderful example of a person who prefers to learn in a single style and who often struggles to convert his knowledge into writing.  He is a true kinesthetic learner and seems to love his tactile sense over all the others.  He needs to move around nearly all the time and doesn’t naturally make the pictures in his mind to “see” what organization looks like.  His crumpled papers generally reflect that he has touched and made contact with the material on them.

When allowed to demonstrate his understanding of new material in a hands-on manner, he performs quite well.  One year, he built an excellent model showing how the plates of the earth shift during an earthquake.  He placed two paper “plates” on top of his amplifier and played a low base sound on his electric guitar.  The plates separated due to the vibration, and the model easily demonstrated how the plates move during an earthquake.

Although he got an A on his demonstration, he…

Read on for more of the preface tomorrow…

Copyright 2011 Pat Wyman, The Center For New Discoveries In Learning, Inc.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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