Stages of Learning LO22044 -was Learning Style Inventory

Bruce Jones (
Tue, 29 Jun 1999 08:08:28 -0500

Replying to LO22005 --

> In a mathematics class on "Group Theory" (a mathematical group is a highly
> abstract concept -- more fundamental than an "algebra" and you don't have
> to understand anything about it for the rest of this to make sense!) my
> professor began an early lesson period by giving each of us one die (a
> cube with the numbers one through six its faces.) We "played" with the
> dice, turning them in one direction and the other, in one plane and in the
> other and in the other, and recording what happened to the number showing
> on the upper face. As it turned out, some of these physical manipulations
> of a die followed the rules for a mathematical group.

This is your learning style. What about the X-1 students of the class?
How many of them learn in the same manner? Would another approach have
been better? How many passed the class?

> What's important about this? I found that later, when trying to prove
> very abstract theorems or even to understand more advanced concepts, that
> my mind would go back to the feelings and other memories of physically
> manipulating the die. This sensory experience helped form my "intuition"
> for higher level learning.

You were able to translate the tactile learning experience into the
abstract utilization of the learning experience very well. How about the
others that were able to extract the abstract from the concrete yet not be
able to use it because their learning style gave them NO cues as to how to

> I have always found, in my tutoring and teaching, that it behooved me to
> remember to start with concrete operational learning -- no matter how
> "advanced" the student. And only move toward rules and other abstractions
> when I was sure the students were ready. And I've worked almost
> exclusively with adult students.

Are you teaching as a primary subjects instructor, continuing education
instructor, or corporate instructor ? Are you teaching people who HAVE to
be there or are there voluntarily? Are you teaching one-one or to a
standard classroom? How many skill levels are you teaching to at the same

Bruce W. Jones
Organizational Development Specialist
Northwest Texas Healthcare System
Amarillo, Texas


"Bruce Jones" <>

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