Understanding and Responding to Specific Learning Styles, Needs and Contexts: What Makes a Difference?

By June Pym.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Commerce Academic Development Programme focuses on both providing access and graduation. The programme is focused on addressing educational gaps, as well as providing a comprehensive range of educational and life skills throughout the degree programme. There is a strong focus on creating a ‘value-added’ experience, rather than a deficit model approach. The students in the programme increasingly bring a rich diversity of experiences, language, contexts and learning styles. Increasingly, we are finding that students are defying the odds in their competencies and academic results. The programme is attempting to understand the varying conceptual ‘lenses’ that students bring with them to the classroom; how these schemata are formed and influence students’ understanding of new material and styles of learning. Moletsane (1999: 38) places emphasis on “developing and validating different ways of seeing, thinking, speaking and creating knowledge and meaning”. Students use their existing knowledge, experiences and understandings to make sense of what is going on in their learning (Floden, 1991). What is important about diverse learners is what they perceive, and fail to perceive, to be relevant about a subject (Kennedy, 1991). The presentation will use the programme as a case-study to examine some facets of the programme that may positively contribute toward their learning, with a particular focus on the varied aspects and pedagogies that facilitate varying learning style

Keywords: Different Learning Styles, Learning Environment, Learning Structures and Pedagogies

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 8, pp.175-182. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 794.051KB).

Assoc. Prof. June Pym

Coordinator Commerce Academic Development Programme, Academic Development Programme, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Dr June Pym taught for 19 years and was vice-principal for 4 years in a school in Athlone, Cape Town. She was an educational publisher for 5 years, before coordinating the Commerce Academic Development Programme at UCT since 2000. In 2007, she was appointed Director of the Education Development Unit (Commerce). Her particular interests relate to educational change, grappling with issues that impact on the teaching and learning environment and the exploration of varying teaching pedagogies.


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