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October 11, 2010

Learning About Learning Styles

Get ready for some in-depth exploration in the coming weeks.


I am a teacher at heart, and I've been feeling the urge lately to explore an important topic on a deeper level—with the goal of providing small-group leaders with some useful insight and good conversation. And since I have full control over this blog, I think I will do just that. (Cue a mad-scientist kind of laugh.)

So, over the next several weeks I will be taking an extended look at learning styles and how they impact small groups. (You probably guessed that from the title of this post, huh?) Here's a tentative schedule of how the posts might shake out:

1. An overview of learning styles and the VARK model
2. Understanding Visual Learners
3. What visual learners need in a small group
4. Understanding Auditory Learners
5. What auditory learners need in a small group
6. Understanding Reading/Writing Learners
7. What reading/writing learners need in a small group
8. Understanding Kinesthetic Learners
9. What kinesthetic learners need in a small group
10. How to engage multiple learning styles in a small group

I plan on getting started later this week, but I wanted to pause a moment and open the door for any feedback you may have before I do so. Does this look interesting? Is there anything missing that you would like me to explore or explain?

Feel free to pitch in with your comments, and I really look forward to exploring this subject together!

posted by Sam O'Neal on October 11, 2010 9:45 AM

Related Tags: Learning styles


I don't typically jump in on these conversations. But this idea stirs my interest. I guess partly because this topic has not been explored much in the small group world. And typically we assume way too much as pastors about how people learn. We did a churn wide campaign that took advantage of VARK a couple of years ago and the response was great. But we've not done that much more with it. To have some principles to help steer our small group curriculum around the fact that people learn differently would be most welcome

Interesting. In our Small Group Leader Training, we actually coach our leaders to blend a balance of teaching, leading, and shepherding. We recommended the leader talk time at around 20%...the group at 80% and we go more for inspired learning vs. teaching per se, as you'd find more in a classroom environment over SG discussion environment. Approaching the various learning styles is one way I suppose, but perhaps integrating spiritual pathways to the mix would be even more beneficial. Just a thought.

I'm really looking forward to this! Seems like we in the church are lagging behind the education world in helping people learn best instead of being so teacher-centric. Posting a list of resources that help various learners would be great too.

I've always been interested in understanding more about learning styles but in the context of small group, the type of learning that we hope will happen is the Praxis learning, the knowledge that comes from applying truth to our lives. Is there such thing as different styles for doing that? Life in general is the laboratory for Praxis, God works truth into our lives through experience, do people process this differently? Just a thought!

the idea is wonderful. This topic is a very interesting one since it focuses in the student not in the leader. In this case the leader-teacher has to invest time and dedication in fulfill the needs of the members in order for them to absorb more. here it comes the different personalities and how to provide the right way to deposit information. I would love to knoow more about this. Some resources' websites would be very beneficial, too.

I am very interested in this myself! I recently went back to school and received my teaching certificate and God has shut many doors in the education field. However, He opened up doors for me and I am working at the church in the Life Group Ministry as well as lead a Life Group too. I have become a better Life Group leader after learning more about how others learn - "Learning Styles"! I also have been able to use things that I learned in my educational training like how to use technology, how to ask delving questions, presentation skills, etc. I think this is something we have needed to teach our small group leaders for a while in order to have the biggest impact on learning God's Word because there are many different learning styles in one small group! :)

This sounds very interesting, I would love to read it.

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