293 -Understanding Learning Styles to Improve Group and Individual Interventions
Counselor Toolbox

 
 
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Journey to Recovery Series
Improving Effectiveness with Different Learning Styles in Group and Individual Work
Presented by: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes Executive Director, AllCEUs
Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox & Happiness isn’t Brain Surgery
Objectives
~ Learn why it is important to understand learning style
~ Identify the three components of learning
~ Explore the multiple facets of learning
~ Synthesize the components and facets of learning to understand how you most effectively learn
Why Do I Care?
~ You learn every day:
~ Reading/watching the news
~ Developing a new skill or hobby
~ Watching people and life
~ To change a behavior you need to:
~ Learn the function of the old behavior
~ Learn why the old behavior is not meeting your needs
~ Learn about alternate behaviors
~ Develop that knowledge into skills
Learning Theory
~ Client-Partnership Model
~ Client and coach identify learning goals and methods
~ New information is linked to prior learning
~ Client undergoes an unlearning process before new information is implemented
~ Information is given over time
~ Information is tailored to the needs of the individual
~ Learning is affective, cognitive, social and behavioral
Assumptions about Learners
~ Want to know why they should learn it (Motivation)
~ Intro story you can relate to…
~ Define how this will help you…
~ Are active, responsible, self-directed learners
~ Identify what you might be able to get out of this?
~ Identify how you can apply the material?
~ Bring experience to learning
~ Knowledge of primary and related topics (i.e. depression and treatment)
~ Biases primary and related topics (i.e. depression and treatment)
Assumptions cont…
~ Are ready to learn when the need arises
~ How can you make mandatory learning more relevant?
~ How can you increase rewards for learning?
~ Provide Task/Problem-Oriented Learning
~ Identify something you need to learn about in order to improve your recovery or happiness.
Context of Learning
~ Positive learning climate
~ How do you create that in your setting?
~ Does it differ for other people?
~ What are some examples of negative learning climates you have been in?
~ Personal characteristics
~ Self-efficacy
~ Expectations
~ Vulnerabilities/confounding issues (crisis, MH, detox)
Context cont…
~ Peers
~ Stage of readiness for change
~ Co-occurring issues
~ Culture
~ Community
~ Stigma/attitudes
~ Availability of peer support
~ Significant Other Expectations
~ Identified patient/why aren’t you fixed
~ It’s not me, it’s him

Motivating the Adult Learner
~ 6 factors that motivate adult learning:
~ Social relationships:
~ To make new friends and socialize
~ To improve current relationships with friends and family
~ External expectations:
~ Job/School
~ Other authority’s requirement (Doctor, probation officer)
~ Social welfare:
~ To improve ability to serve the community
~ To improve the community
Motivating the Adult Learner
~ 6 factors that motivate adult learning:
~ Personal Improvement:
~ Enhance health and wellbeing
~ Professional advancement
~ Stay abreast of competitors
~ Escape/Stimulation:
~ To relieve boredom
~ Change the routine
~ Cognitive interest: To learn for the sake of learning
Learning Components
~ Cognition
~ How people acquire knowledge
~ Seeing, hearing or doing
~ Conceptualization
~ How people process information
~ Abstract, specific, memory pathways
~ Affective
~ People’s motivation, decision-making styles, values and emotional preferences
~ How much does this information matter?

Cognition: Knowledge Acquisition
~ Active/Reflective (When you process)
~ Processing information in the moment
~ Taking information in and having an ah-ha moment when it is assimilated
~ Action without reflection = Trouble
~ Reflection without action = Inaction

Cognition: Knowledge Acquisition
~ Active/Reflective Learner Tips
~ Reflective learners
~ Think it through first
~ Prefer working alone
~ Active learners
~ Difficulty sitting quietly through lectures
~ Like group work
~ Need discussion or problem-solving activities
Cognition: Knowledge Acquisition
~ Auditory/hearing, visual/seeing, or kinesthetic/doing (How you receive)
~ Hearing: Lecture, discussion, podcasts, self-talk
~ Visual: Reading, seeing displays, taking notes
~ Kinesthetic: Doing it, role playing, paraphrasing to write or speak
Cognition: Knowledge Acquisition
~ To meet different learning needs, present material:
~ Visually (notes, graphs)
~ Verbally (talk about it)
~ Manipulatively (questions, group activities)
~ Ask questions and give examples throughout class
~ Take frequent “processing” breaks for the reflective learners
Knowledge Conceptualization
~ Sensing vs. Intuitive
~ Sensing people give attention to the details
~ Intuitive people are more concerned with the big picture
~ Global vs. Specific
~ Global learners need an overview to prepare how they are going to conceptualize information
~ Specific learners just want to start learning and see where it takes them.
Sensing vs. Intuitive
~ Big picture vs. details
~ Find a balance
~ Present big picture and basics then let participants ask questions
Global vs. Sequential
~ Bottom Up or Top Down
~ Think puzzles: Box or no box?
~ Think DVDs: Read the back or no?
~ Present a general overview
~ Provide an outline/agenda for direction
~ Answer the question—“Why do I care?”
Caring (Affective)
~ Attitudinal or Emotional
~ Conceptualizing information using a true/false or a good/bad lens
~ People who tend to learn attitudinally tend to prefer facts and compelling objective arguments
~ People who learn emotionally prefer to learn what will make them feel best
Tips for Learning Success
~ Provide enough information
~ Work collectively
~ Emphasize immediate benefits. Learning is not its own reward.
~ Small group activities provide learners an opportunity to share, reflect and generalize their learning experiences.
~ Promote autonomy and innovation

More Tips…
~ Stress order through consistency, fairness and respect
~ Promote involvement in group governance through shared values, needs and goals
~ Differentiate between the behavior and the person
~ Regularly assess attribution statements
~ Model positive attitude, empathy, acceptance
~ Reinforce the inherent worth of all participants
More Tips…
~ Develop collaborative and cooperative learning activities
~ Seize opportunities to teach conflict resolution, stress management
~ Teach how to accept and learn from mistakes
~ Demonstrate how to build on strengths
~ Help others view patients/family members positively to encourage future learning
Summary
~ Adult learners are more likely to retain relevant information
~ Learning is an emotional, cognitive, and situational process
~ Information should be presented
~ Beginning with an overview
~ Using as many senses as possible
~ Focusing on what motivates the person (facts or feelings)
~ Taking periodic breaks to apply the information
~ Highlighting why it matters
~ Ending with a personal application of the material