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The Relationship between the Learning Styles of First Year College Students and the Teaching Styles of their Instructors/Professors at Aldersgate College: An Analysis

Background of the Study

The teaching atmosphere of today’s classroom can no longer be viewed in the same way it was centuries ago when students were forced to sit down and listen to the teacher with the fear of getting punished should they fail to do so. The use of lecture-discussion method in the teaching-learning process is no longer sufficient to bring about an efficient outcome. New theories on classroom management have been institutionalized that gradually replaced the traditional theory counted upon by educators and curriculum developers in earlier educational systems.  Whether there had been improvement done to the existing system, teachers in the educational system have to cope with whatever innovations that are introduced in their desire to change what they consider underachievement. Too many teaching techniques and strategies are being introduced each year but very few can be adaptive to the changing learning needs of the students. Some teachers sometimes fail to consider that as students in a class look differently they also think and react in their own distinct manner. Teachers need to reflect that the uniqueness in personality, diversity in strengths and disparity in motivation of every student can bring about incongruity in their responses and reactions to instructional approaches and systems. Probably the most important aspect to get at learning is the idea of challenging all learners at their level instead of giving more work to those who learn the concept more quickly. This would require assessing the students learning styles should there be a need to differentiate classroom work.  Learning styles has been acknowledged as a justification to the perception that students achieve differently in class. A theory which supports this concept of students learning differently is Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences.  There are numerous ways in which students will learn best and these can be identified if educators will give consideration to the weaknesses and strengths of the learners.

An effort to get better in terms of the quality of the teacher’s teaching style should be instigated, one which is rooted on the awareness of the learning needs of the students.  It is the undertaking of every teacher to determine the basis of students having different learning styles.  Awareness of the students’ learning styles will help teachers devise teaching methods that harmonize with these needs. Trying to match what students are actually doing as closely as possible with what they like doing and what they are good at doing may be advantageous for individuals to be well-rounded.  A mismatch of students’ learning needs and the teachers’ way of delivering the concepts may likewise be a factor in the poor performance of students.

Concerned with the problems faced by teachers interested to use other teaching techniques and methodologies which are more responsive to students’ need and motivated by the desire to effect a better transfer of learning, the researcher believes that individualized instruction promotes competency and proficiency in the learning process even with minimum direction of a teacher since much of the actual adaptation activities take place outside the teacher’s supervision. It is in this regard that we consider individual learning styles to improve the way we teach English Communication Arts in the academic setting.  Doing so will cause some challenges in innovating activities that will accommodate every student’s learning needs and abilities. The effort will create an improved learning environment for students where they can improve their study habits, attitudes and behavior, and eventually progress in the academic performance of even the underachievers in the classroom.

The assumption that students’ learning styles and their instructors/professors’ teaching styles have a major connection in the students’ performance in the classroom is the motivating factor for the researcher to conduct this study entitled: The Relationship Between the Learning Styles of the First Year College Students and the Teaching Styles of their Instructors/Professors at Aldersgate College: An Analysis.

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