Galena's Doorway

A Journey in Middle Age, Menopause and ADHD

I was in a college class not too many years ago and the instructor gave a quiz to us to determine our learning style. Some learn by listening, some visual etc. They all had different names. I was the only one in the class that fell under the label ‘Naturalist’ learner. The unprofessional and apparently uneducated instructor said she didn’t know what that means, and maybe it means I should study under a tree (out loud and to the class.) This was a full adult classroom of people. She should have educated herself on ALL the learning types before she gave the quiz, even I KNEW what a naturalist learner was, they need the free rein to explore the environment they’re working in with a unique very hands on way, being immersed in the environment and experimenting within different faucets of it. They are the big picture people and the brainstormers. I’d think a lot of ADHD people learn best like that. But her remark just continued to show the level of ignorance people still have about ADHD and other learning curves. Given that remark and being un-medicated, uneducated on my own ADHD issues since they all vary and self conscious of my learning abilities since leaving college, in true ADHD form I promptly flunk the class and never went back to try again. I was 45. Thanks Teach. GOOD JOB! It wasn’t a credit course, it was just me after decades removed from the whole school arena wanting to better myself and further educate myself on something that was work related at the time, completely on me, my (now apparently wasted) money and time. It saddened me that at the age of 45 I was transported back to the ignorance of high school.

No pity party. I went on to learn everything I had hoped to learn through that course and far more, just by being at my job and around the supportive people I worked with. See Teach, I didn’t have to go sit under a tree at all.


Potential hazard of studying under a tree




Educational researcher and theorist Howard Gardner fundamentally changed curricular theory with the release of his 1983 study “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences.”  The naturalist learning style stands out from others because Gardner introduced it about 15 years after the publication of his seminal work. Since its addition to the list of learning styles, it has earned its share of attention as well as controversy.

Natural learners absorb new concepts best when they can apply information to their unique mental framework. They appreciate tools for observing phenomena and may do well if they can sketch observations in notebooks, label diagrams or record changes over time in a chart or on a graph. They often express interest in the bigger picture of a situation, wanting to debate theories or explore how everyday actions have long-term consequences. 

Some educators assume that a naturalist learning style is a measure of scientific proficiency. The fact is, a naturalist learner can absorb all manner of information and theory but prefers to do so within her perspective. For example, a story about China may not inspire her, but if she can link it to a map of China or photographs of unique animals and habitats in China, she will have a naturalist learner’s context for considering the story. 

Some people feel that a naturalist learning style represents an interest as opposed to an intelligence. They feel that this descriptor limits the capabilities and scope of a broader-based intelligence. However, the naturalist learning style shares a great deal with the bodily-kinesthetic (hands on) style with its preference for interaction, investigation and incorporation of tools for observation. – Classroom.Synonym.Com


#educate #advocate #awareness

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