It was difficult knowing what to expect when I registered for Visualizing Mathematics this Fall.
Math has always been an intimidating subject for me, so I approached the topic with a bit of apprehension. The thing is I’m not entirely sure my concern is warranted. I’m told the struggle I’ve traditionally faced with math is a family trait, but I’m not sure that’s entirely correct.
It may be true that people in my gene pool have traditionally had a hard time with math, but I’m beginning to think we’ve never been taught it correctly.
That’s why I was surprised, but intrigued when the first assignment given to the class was to assess our personal learning styles. What I discovered was that my personal learning style is a mix of Intrapersonal (not surprising for an introvert), Naturalistic, Visual-Spatial, and Body-Kinesthetic. Have you ever considered your personal learning style?
If your interested, look here for an easy to digest break down of personal learning styles.
Results will vary based on the method you are using to assess your learning style, but the general conclusion will likely remain close to the same. While working on this assignment we were asked to assess our style in two different surveys. Visual-Spatial filled the top position in one of my surveys, the other saw Intrapersonal and Naturalistic fill the top slots. Body-Kinesthetic was highly rated in the second survey, but I wonder about it’s true standing (it may hold such a dominant position because of the lifestyle imbalance I’m facing at this point in life).
I’ve typically not considered myself much of an athlete (if you will). Throughout much of my life I’ve been more of an artsy type. However, I’ve always strived to achieve balance in my life. I like being fit because I enjoy the strength, clarity of mind, and confidence that goes with it.
At this stage in my life, balancing a full-time desk job with my academic pursuits, severely impacts my ability to be as active as I typically prefer to be.
If I were to prioritize the general characteristics of my learning style (based on dominance) it would look somewhat like this:
- Intrapersonal. I’m foremost an introvert, so internal thought and self-exploration is a huge part of how I absorb information; and understand how it relates to me and my life. I’m also a deeply spiritual person, and self-evaluation is a huge part of how I practice my faith.
- Naturalistic/Body-Kinesthetic. Personally, I struggle to separate these two elements in my mind. I don’t consider myself an athlete (in the purest sense of the word) but I’m extremely active (normally). I’ve always been an outdoors person. I love hiking, backpacking, and exploring-whether on foot, or in my kayak. I’m also a taekwondo black belt, and love the challenge of competition.
- Visual-Spatial. I’m a life-long artist. I enjoy drawing and painting, but specialize in black and white illustration. For a glimpse of my work you can check out my artist page at Redbubble. My devotion to my craft has experienced peaks and valleys over the years (now is a low point); but I’ve always had an interest. I’ve usually seen art as a means of self expression, and escape; so the idea of using my creative personality as a means of learning is a new concept for me.
My experience in college has taught me that learning to learn is as much a part of the process as the content of your classes.
Learning to leverage my new found understanding of my personal learning style is going to be a challenge, but one that will prove immensely rewarding.
Math is a foundational aspect of my studies at SUNY Empire. I can’t wait to reap the benefits of succeeding in this area.