When indicating preferences on a student's IEP I have always asked the student how they prefer to learn and often times I have felt that I prompted them to respond the way I assumed they preferred to learn. Do people actually know automatically how they prefer to learn or does it take some digging? The Learning Style #1 assessment found in the Quick Book of Transition Assessments is a valuable tool to start a discussion of learning preferences. Before taking the assessment I assumed that I preferred to learn via lecture rather than out of a book but the data said just the opposite. According to the CITE Learning Styles, for language “I learn well from seeing words in books, on the chalkboard, or in workbooks. I remember and use information if I have read it.” When dealing with mathematical problems, “I have to see numbers on the board, in a book, or on paper to work with them. I am more likely to understand math facts if I have seen them.”
The contrary results caused me to reflect on how I actually learn best rather than relying on my initial assumption. Upon further reflection, the data are correct, I learn best from data I can see rather than just hear. For other people the results from the Learning Style #1 assessment may be incorrect but the important thing is that the process encourages reflection. I have set up the spreadsheet so all that needs to be done to get the results is to copy the formulas to the next row. I plan to use the tool to promote self advocacy as well as to assess.