From the front of the room: An educator's perspective on brain dominance
Know your right from your left
By Art Hsieh
Stephanie's accurate introspection of her information-receiving style will serve her well as she continues to acquire EMT knowledge and skills.
In education there are several ways to describe one's learning style. Stefanie's blog post refers to the right brain – left brain theory of absorbing information. Think about the forest and trees metaphor – are you the type of person who sees the forest first as a swath of green leaves and many trunks, or do you want to focus up close and look at each tree individually first? If you can better understand how you pick up information while learning something new, you can better at the way you study and prepare for things like exams.
If you're more of an analytic learner – looking at each tree first - skill sheets are great. Steps are lined up insequence, like a shopping list. Bullets on a slide helps organize ideas. Reading carefully through each paragraph while highlighting or taking notes is another organizational method.
If you're more of a global learner – looking at the forest first – looking at modeled behavior is very helpful. Look at online video clips to see how others do a whole procedure. Stand back and watch the instructor and students practice an assessment, while keeping the skill sheet handy. When reviewing a textbook chapter, first look at the objectives to get a sense of what the chapter is going to cover.
You can search online for quick self-assessments to see what type of learner you are. There are also plenty of study tips and pearls that can improve how you study. Fortunately, the vast majority of us can access both types of learning styles easily, since we tend to use both most of the time. It's only occasionally that some concept or skill is so difficult to acquire that it requires focused effort. In those situations, playing to your strengths can make you that much more effective.