In preparation for the Training of Teachers (ToT) course, I took a VARK test and a Multiple Intelligences Test to assess my learning style. This was also useful information for my diploma. The teaching pathway and the action learning pathway are two sides of the same coin.
VARK Questionnaire (Fleming)
My scores were:
- visual: 4
- aural: 6
- read/write: 7
- kinesthetic: 6
The result indicated that I have a Multimodal Learning Preference with a strong preference for linguistic learning. The result reflected that much of my learning in higher education, at university, was reading and writing. I also am a qualified and experienced TEFL teacher, which again has a strong linguistic focus. I also speak three foreign languages.
Multiple Intelligences Test
I also completed a Multiple Intelligences Test based on Howard Gardner’s MI model. The results were:
- linguistic (words and language): 28
- logical-mathematical (numbers and logic): 30
- musical (music, sounds, rhythm): 29
- bodily-kinesthetic (physical experience, movement, touch, feel): 29
- spatial-visual (pictures, shapes, images, 3D space): 29
- interpersonal (human contact, communications, cooperation, teamwork): 24
- intrapersonal (self-reflection, self-discovery): 30
Again the result indicated multimodal learning preference. The lowest score was in interpersonal which was surprising. In fact I have been involved in community work for many years and live and am actively engaged in a community. I do in fact believe engaging in community life to be a most valuable source of learning. It is true however, that I do not have ambitions to work in the roles defined as typical for this intelligence, such as a therapist, mediator, leader, counsellor, politician, salesperson, clergy and psychologist.
The questions were interesting, however I did not enjoy working on the computer in order to complete the tests.
PMI Evaluation of these tests
These tests are easy to fill out and disseminate.
I was put off by having to fill out a form on the computer. I prefer a living approach to learning. Also the questions can be interpreted in different ways and one might not be sure of an answer or the answer would be dependant on the learning situation.
The questions highlight different situations and aspects of learning.
Notably there are other factors to learning which are of great importance:
learning is developmental: we learn differently as children, in adolescence and in adulthood and we learn differently as we move from beginner to expert in particular fields
your approach to learning changes: how you approach learning depends on what you are learning, your prior experience and how and why you are learning something
the learning context is critical: your learning will be affected by your relationship with your teacher, the learning environment, your approach to the subject, the learning materials and activities, and the institution