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He writes that just as governments carry out legislative, executive and judicial functions, so does the mind.
The legislative function is concerned with creating, formulating, imagining and planning.
Sternberg’s goal for himself and other educators is to expand the repertoire of teaching techniques to meet the needs of a population of students with a variety of styles.
To do so, we must be more flexible and we must be able to offer a greater variety of learning activities in our classrooms.
Students with hierarchic forms of mental self-government are able to prioritize and be systematic in completing class assignments and solving problems.
The oligarchic form allows for multiple goals also, but here each goal is of equal importance.
The judicial function is concerned with judging, evaluating and comparing.Students who function in this manner have difficulty prioritizing.Competing goals can keep them from completing assignments.A literature lesson, for example, can involve putting oneself in the place of an author or character to imagine what will happen (legislative function), or it might involve a short answer test on factual material (executive function), or an essay test which requires interpretation of events or evaluation of consequences (judicial function).
Sternberg states that people are more motivated and perform better on activities that match their learning styles.Learning differences, Sternberg maintains, are not due solely to differences in ability.