Life is a mystery, that’s what one has been told. It is not very often that one receives the opportunity to reflect upon one’s own being. The mystery of who one really is. What makes up ones being that is presented to the world on a daily basis? In this learning profile, one will pair the results from two learning/intelligence questionnaires (the VARK and BGFL Multiple Intelligences) and 5 proposed questions to reflect and determine if the results are indeed valid based on ones perception of self. One also will reveal any additional incite the results have revealed to further contribute to ones goal of becoming a profound educator.
In efforts to illuminate ones knowledge of self, one took both the VARK Learning Style Questionnaire and the BGFL Multiple Intelligences Questionnaire. The VARK "is a questionnaire that provides users with a profile of their learning preferences. These preferences are about the ways that they want to take-in and give-out information" ("VARK A Guide to Learning Styles," 2011.). At the end of the VARK questionnaire, there is an additional survey that you can opt to take or not. It helps the developer of the VARK, Neil Fleming, determine the accuracy of the measure. Of those who have taken the questionnaire and additional survey, approximately 60 percent of users have noted that the outcome of their measure was in line with who they identified themselves to be as learners. The VARK is said "to indicate the ways in which students prefer to learn. It does not say anything about how teachers teach" ("VARK A Guide to Learning Styles," 2011.).
Interestingly, "VARK is about modal preferences which are a part of the Myers- Briggs Personality Type Indicator and VARK is structured specifically to improve learning and teaching" ("VARK A Guide to Learning Styles," 2011.).
The Birmingham Grid for Learning, also known as the "BGFL" Multiple Intelligences Questionnaire is based on Howard Gardner’s eight multiple intelligences. The eight multiple intelligences are: musical/rhythmic, visual/spatial, verbal/linguistic, logical/mathematical, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. Gardner believed that "intelligence is categorized into three primary or overarching categories, those of which are formulated by the abilities. Intelligence is: 1) The ability to create an effective product or offer a service that is valued in a culture, 2) a set of skills that make it possible for a person to solve problems in life, and 3) the potential for finding or creating solutions for problems, which involves gathering new knowledge" ("Multiple Intelligences," n.d.). He "opposes the idea of labeling learners to a specific intelligence (and felt) each individual possessed a unique blend of all the intelligences" ("Multiple Intelligences," n.d.). Also, "Gardner firmly maintains that his theory of multiple intelligences should "empower learners", not restrict them to one modality of learning" ("Multiple Intelligences," n.d.).
One applied the aforementioned questionnaires and all they encompassed to the following questions.
The first question read: "What did the survey results show as your strengths?" The VARK revealed that one is considered "multimodal". A multimodal learning style is one that belongs to a person who carries multiple learning preferences. It indicated that one has a strong preference toward reading and writing when learning. It also showed that one has high scores as a kinesthetic learner as well. The BGFL showed similar results with a surprise. It indicated that one is very linguistic or word smart, and self-aware through a high intrapersonal score. However, one received her lowest score on this measure as kinesthetic or body smart, which contradicts the results indicated from the VARK regarding ones kinesthetic aptitude. As a former athletic who is a fan of learning by doing, one was surprised at the latter result. Both measures indicated that one appreciates learning information by reading and writing and that one scored highly within the linguistic or word smart category. One concurs with these findings as one has an affinity for words and enjoys reading and writing very much.
Next, question number 2 read: "What did they show as your weaknesses?" The VARK revealed that from the four areas it derived scores, including visual, aural, read/write, and kinesthetic, one scored the lowest in the visual section. One admits that regarding some things, such as crafts, one is a visual learner, however regarding learning in a school setting, one prefers reading instructions and following them versus watching someone do things for her. It was interesting that one scored low on visual for this measure yet one scored higher for the same term on the BGFL measure. Also, as previously mentioned, the BGFL questionnaire indicated that out of all eight intelligences, one scored lowest in the kinesthetic area. Contrastingly, on the VARK, one scored higher on the kinesthetic area. Again, this was a surprise as one considers herself to also be a very body smart person and prefers to learn by doing on certain task, such as sports. In school, one threw hundreds of throws before one became a Division 1, All-ACC thrower. One learned by practicing and doing, over and over.
Next, question number 3 read: "What did the survey results confirm for you? What surprised you? Do your prior experiences reflect the results of the surveys? Why or why not?" Admittingly, the questionnaire results confirmed several things for me. The VARK indicated that one enjoys learning by reading and writing by presenting one with the highest score in that area. The BGFL indicated that one was highest in being linguistic or word smart, intrapersonally aware, and a visual/spatial person. One has been told that one is very "self-smart" and has a high level of intrapersonal awareness. One knows what encourages and motivates her, one also knows what to avoid that tends to rub her the wrong way, so to speak. One being linguistic or word smart has been noted continuously amongst one’s peers. Just the other day as we shared the results of our questionnaires as a group, when one mentioned the aforementioned results, a classmate spoke out and said " yes you are" in agreeance with the results.
The thing that surprised me regarding the questionnaires were how in at least two areas, the scores were a direct contradiction of the score on the other measure. As previously mentioned, on the VARK one scored low in the visual area, however, one scored high on the visual/spatial section of the BGFL. Also, on the VARK, one scored high on the kinesthetic area and contrastingly, scored low on the same section of the BGFL. One will attempt to demystify these results in the conclusion of one’s paper. Overall, besides the low kinesthetic score, ones prior experiences do reflect the results of the questionnaires as explained above.
Next, question number 4 read: "What information about your learning preferences will help your instructions assist you during the MAT program?" One believes the most prevalent information that can be gathered regarding oneself from the questionnaires is that one is interested in learning in many different ways and that one is high across many intelligences. The results indicate ones preferred method of learning, that many may see as old fashioned, is the simple read and write method. One honestly doesn’t expect any instructor from the MAT program to change their style of teaching for one person. The information can be used as a mirror
of what works best for me and in the event I need help, instructors can use the way one comprehends information as revealed above to provide tutelage for me.
Lastly, question 5 read: "What information will help you as a future classroom teacher?" One believes that the information revealed from the questionnaires will help in shaping the way one views her students. It allows me to view them as unique individuals who all have multiple intelligences and learning styles of their own. One feels that keeping this in mind throughout the learning process is essential for the edification of ones students.
In conclusion, one acknowledges that many of the aforementioned results were in line with one’s own view of self. However, the discrepancies where the two measures yielded conflicting data is believed to be due to the operational definition of each article. In the VARK, one thinks that the term "visual" meant ones preference for watching a lesson or demonstration for learning purposes. One believes that the same term in regards to the BGFL was operationally defined as one who is good at artistic embellishment which includes but is not limited to drawing and picturing things in one’s mind. One thinks the same is true of the term kinesthetic. In the VARK, one believes that the term is operationally defined as someone who learns by doing or taking action. Regarding the BGFL, one believes the term to be operationally defined as one who can’t sit still for long periods of time and likes to work with ones hands. If one applies these operational definitions to each situation then yes, the results do fall in line with how one views oneself. One enjoyed this assignment and looks forward to learning more about the mysteries of oneself along the journey to become an educator.
Fleming, N. (2011). VARK a guide to learning styles. Retrieved from http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=questionnaire
Maund, J. (2002). BGFL Multiple Intelligences. Retrieved from http://www.bgfl.org/bgfl/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/ks3/ict/multiple_int/questions/choose_lang.cfm
Multiple Intelligences. (n.d.) . In Wikipedia. Retrieved October 28, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_multiple_intelligences
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