Laurel Springs is dedicated to ensuring that the curriculum matches the student, rather than the student matching the curriculum.
The learning styles model of education is a student-centered approach to learning which acknowledges the natural rhythms of childhood, the child’s innate love of learning, and the unique talents inherent in each child.
“We believe that every child is a living treasure with the ability to demonstrate genius. The best learning environment is one that is nurturing and supportive. We honor the uniqueness of each of our students and appreciate the myriad of learning styles they present to us.”
– Marilyn Mosley Gordanier
Founder & Executive Director, Laurel Springs School
Laurel Springs combines five unique learning assessments to help create a dynamic portrait of the child. This portrait informs choice of curriculum, mode of curriculum delivery, and provides valuable information to our teachers regarding instructional preferences. Understanding learning styles allows us to take an organic approach, based on each child’s unique pace of development and strengths. The learning team consists of parents, teachers, and staff who provide a strong foundation of support and who are aware of student’s developmental stages.
While most educators are familiar with the terms auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learners, our learning styles model expands the concept to include how children think, what motivates them to learn, their interests, talents, and even the environment in which they learn best. This is a system based upon the belief that each style of learning is valid, unique, and important. Our teachers work as a team with students and parents, emphasizing strengths rather than weaknesses. Laurel Springs is dedicated to ensuring that the curriculum matches the child, rather than the child matching the curriculum.
The learning styles profile analyzes five aspects of how a student learns: disposition, modality, interests, talents, and environment. All of these are taken into consideration when designing student materials or personalizing the learning process to match students’ skills, needs, and goals. Here is a brief description of each dynamic component.
Student disposition can best be described as a student’s “learning personality,” or how he or she naturally expresses interest in learning. There are five learning personalities:
Modality, Interests & Talents, and Environment
In addition to the student’s learning disposition, we also take into account the following:
- Modality. A student’s modality refers to his or her preferred modes of receiving and processing information. Some examples of a student’s preferred modes of information processing could include auditory, visual, tactile/kinesthetic, verbal or printed language.
- Interests & Talents. A student’s talents are documented during our assessment, and could include: word, music, math/logic, mechanical reasoning, language reasoning, spatial/body coordination, interactive, and daily life skills. The individual interests of each student are also explored and noted.
- Environment. Environment refers to the type of surroundings that best support an individual student’s thinking, learning and working. These factors include physical position (sitting, walking, reclining,) sound (quiet, ambient noise, music), and even colors in the surroundings. Our assessment pinpoints which environmental factors contribute to increased student success.
Application of Learning Styles
When we understand the approach that works best for each learning style, we ensure that the model matches the child, rather than forcing the child to match the model. Leveraging learning style enhances motivation and commitment to learning. Children’s self-esteem grows when they participate in a learning process that affirms their interests and talents.