College preparatory boarding schools integrate a variety of educational methods to ensure student success, regardless of student learning style. Studies show that students learn through a variety of styles: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic.
Understanding student preferences for learning as well as developing comprehensive student-teacher interactions has proven to be very successful for retaining information. “Matching strategies for learning with a student’s learning style can be highly motivating for that student,” says Dixon. Wasatch Academy integrates a variety of methods for learning to ensure each student is acquiring information and is able to utilize that information to be solutions-oriented.
Visual learners prefer to acquire information through charts, videos, and images. When notetaking, visual learners may rely on sketches or mind maps.
Audio learners are better at remembering information they hear. Students who prefer this learning style learn better in discussions among small groups and may find it beneficial to verbally record notes.
Read/write learners are extremely comfortable with the information that is presented in a textual format such as lists, handouts, books, or manuals. They often take notes word-for-word and learn best from instructors who share information-packed sentences.
Kinesthetic learners prefer to learn through a hands-on approach. These individuals need to acquire information through experience.
Although there are four main types of learning, it is important to remember that people utilize between one and all four of the learning styles to retain information. Wasatch Academy integrates all four methods of learning into its classes. As a result, students become aware of their learning styles and develop better strategies for studying. Overall, as students and teachers are more aware of these modes of learning, everyone in the classroom benefits.
The Importance of Student-Teacher Interaction
Developing a positive student-teacher interaction is crucial for creating a successful learning environment. The American Psychological Association (APA) says, “Improving students’ relationships with teachers has important, positive, and long-lasting implications for both students’ academic and social development….students who have close, positive, and supportive relationships with their teachers attain higher levels of achievement than those students with more conflict in their relationships.”
Build Self-Confidence and Acclimate to New Learning Environments
Although a positive student-teacher relationship is not the only indicator of student success, it is crucial for improving student self-confidence as well as his or her ability to handle feedback and instruction. At Wasatch Academy, good student-teacher relationships are important for helping students get acclimated to a learning environment away from home.
APA points out that students in every course, especially difficult subjects like math and science, who received an involved educational experience and more support from their instructors report higher levels of engagement in these subjects. Additionally, student-teacher relationships influence how well a student interacts and learns outside the classroom.
Improve Relationships with Authority Figures and Promote Respect
The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), a membership organization dedicated to learning, teaching, and leading, writes, “Developing positive teacher-student relations is one of the most effective steps [in establishing] a positive discipline climate in the classroom.” Teachers who treat his or her students with respect, appreciation, and provide individualized attention are more likely to receive the same from his or her students.
ASCD says the effects of positive educational relationships continue outside the classroom and influence how students interact with other adults and authority figures. Students are less likely to resist rules, direction, and feedback if they have an excellent underlying relationship with his or her authority figures.
Wasatch Academy understands the importance of fostering positive student-teacher relationships in the classroom. Good relationships between educators and students improve the lives of everyone on campus.