Increasingly, educational leaders are recognizing that the process of learning is critically important and understanding the way individuals learn is the key to educational improvement. The challenge for our schools today is to assess the learning style characteristics of each student and to provide teaching and counseling interventions that are compatible with those characteristics. The counselor’s role in learning styles is major–both as a consultant to teachers and as a provider of counseling services.
Everyone has a learning style. Our style of learning, if accommodated, can result in improved attitudes toward learning and an increase in productivity, academic achievement, and creativity. A comprehensive definition of learning style was adopted by a national task force, comprised of leading theorists in the field and sponsored
by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. This group defined “learning styles” as the composite of characteristic cognitive, affective, and physiological factors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how a learner perceives, interacts with, and responds to the learning environment (Keefe, 1979). Included in this comprehensive definition are “cognitive styles,” which are intrinsic information-processing patterns that represent a person’s typical mode of perceiving, thinking, remembering, and problem-solving.
Assessing the developmental needs of students, psychosocial crises, and developmental tasks that are stage-related, and the special needs education groups, such as bilingual/bicultural students, will provide the learning style of gifted and talented students.