More than 300 teachers and administrators arrived to the Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral (GAM) on Monday, June 10th, to listen to and participate in the seminar «Teaching for All: Creative methods and different learning styles«, whose main speaker was Bernice McCarthy, American academicexpert on innovative teaching methods and different learning styles.
Bernice’s experience as an educator and researcher began with «simple mother like observations,» as she explained at the beginning of the event. According to her, all her children had different and dissimilar approaches to the school experience. Thus, some had good «achievements/ performances» and others not so much, even though according to her, they were all smart in their own way. Due to this, she began to work and study on the so called learning styles, i.e., forms that students have to acquire new knowledge and handle education.
Eventually, Dr. Bernice developed the 4MAT method that, broadly, classifies the cognition experience in 4 types of learning styles, i.e. 4 ways in which students learn new materials. Thus, she categorizes students as dynamic learners, imaginative learners, common sense learners and analytical learners. Each of them has particular characteristics and various forms of understanding the world.
According to McCarthy, schools usually focus on methods for analytical learners, i.e. students who are more comfortable with abstract facts, lectures and textbooks, but leaves aside the other 3 ways of learning related to concrete experience, active experimentation or the adaptation of knowledge.
As a way to address these differences, Dr. McCarthy proposes to teachers to know their students and, above all, to design classes to incorporate elements that enable the 4 types of students understand the topics, so that no one is left out the educational process.
Marcos Kulka, general Manager/CEO at Fundación Chile, made reference to the relevance of questioning the big education issues «we talked a little about what the future means and the challenges we have ahead in education and knowledge. We must ask ourselves about what happens in the classroom, the students and how to accompany each of them within these brain worlds, all with the complexity of a world that is changing dramatically in a very short time. With “Break it” and this seminar, we want to be part of those questions and such support«.
Ana Maria Raad, manager of the Center for Innovation in Education at Fundación Chile, raised the need for innovation in the school system: «we want to emphasize that innovation and creativity are essential issues, they are not annexed to the education processes, but should be the core and we want to focus on innovation to solve specific problems that today needed to be addressed. The reflections brought to us today by Dr. McCarthy are certainly an example of innovation and are not only relevant, but applicable to the Chilean reality«.
The meeting ended with a conference where several guests discussed the implications of Bernice McCarthy’s themes in our national reality. The panel was moderated by Macarena Laso, content director at EducarChile and integrated by Dr. Jorge Lavados, neurobiologist at the Universidad de Chile; Lilians Aranda, teacher with over 30 years of experience; Viviana Galdames, from Universidad Alberto Hurtado, and Megan Simmons of the American organization ISKME
Rómpela (Break it)
Within the year of innovation, the Center for Innovation in Education and the website EducarChile from Fundación Chile have prepared a series of activities to encourage innovation , creativity and use of new classroom learning methods denominated Rómpela: un lugar para tus ideas (Break it: a place for your ideas).
Rómpela promotes cutting edge creativity and exploration methodologies as facilitators of innovation and culture. In this line, it focuses on training teachers, management teams and undergraduate students on the abilities and skills related to creative learning, encouraging the teachers to actively use methodologies in creativity and innovation, and technical and audiovisual resources in the exercise of the educational exercise.
For more information: www.eduacarchile.cl