Cognitive Styles

Students using Creanimate tend to fall into five typical styles of interaction. Whenever someone says there are five types of some thing, it's natural to ask, "Which is the best type?" But this question is too rough to be applied directly to the styles we have isolated. Like teaching strategies, these styles of interaction are not intrinsically good or bad. Rather, they are appropriate or inappropriate. A better question might be, "Which of these styles is good for what purposes?" But even this question does not start where we should: with the student. We need to ask instead, "How can we use what we know about students' styles to help them learn better?"

One of the most important things we can help students learn is an awareness of their natural cognitive style, and the strengths and shortcomings of that style. This implies that not only should we give students a learning environment in which their styles may be allowed to surface, but also that we must have this environment react to those styles. We must lead students down paths that show the shortcomings of their style so they can strengthen it. We must provide students with coaches who can tell memorable stories about others with similar styles and how those styles helped or hindered them.

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