Using the Dunn and Dunn Learning Styles Model in Family Learning Classes

Foufou Savitzky  South Bank University   UK

The London language and Literacy Unit is carrying out a one year funded DfEE project to evaluate using a learning styles approach to teaching and learning on family learning projects. The project has two main areas of focus: firstly to look at the effectiveness of the approach in terms of engaging participants who do not believe they are able to learn; the second area of focus looks at the success of the method in enabling parents to understand how children learn, the pedagogy underpinning educational practice and the role of the parent in supporting a child's literacy development.

The courses being evaluated are taking place in two schools: a nursery school in the London Borough of Lambeth and a primary school in the London Borough of Southwark. Recruitment onto the courses is open to all parents but in each school parents who try to distance themselves from involvement in the life of the school are particularly targeted.

The approach used in the family learning courses is based on the Dunn and Dunn learning styles model. Each session of the course is planned so that global learners have an overview of the session and its aims before it begins. Course tutors try to ensure that course participants are able to distinguish between the content of the session and the method of delivery. Sessions are also planned so that each type of learner has the opportunity to access new learning in their preferred learning style. Once that has happened learners are able to consolidate their learning by exploring the new ideas/concepts through other ways of learning.

The workshop will consist of a brief overview of the Dunn and Dunn model and a presentation of the project by a course tutor and a course participant. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to act as participants and experience part of a session being delivered. Course materials will then be made available for workshop participants to look at and there will be an opportunity for discussion with both the course tutor and the course participant. Pre-publication materials prepared by the external evaluator will also be available, as will examples of case studies of some course participants.

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