learning and thinking styles exercise (learning styles, brain type

learning and thinking styles exercise (learning
styles, brain type preferences, self-awareness,
johari awareness)
This is a quick simple activity for groups of any size. For large groups spilt into
teams of about six people and organise the appointment of team leaders for selffacilitation and review.
Questions form the basis of this exercise:
If you could have only one sense (sight, touch, hearing, taste, etc), what
would you want it to be?
If you had to lose one sense, what would it be?
Rank your senses, in order of importance to you.
You will perhaps think of other questions on similar lines. Use one or a number
of questions to prompt discussion and thereafter a review of the issues.
The purpose of the game is to encourage people to think about how they use
their brains and their thinking/working/learning style preferences and strengths.
Most people (unsurprisingly) tend to favour their sense of sight. You will find
plenty of variation aside from this however, and generally the activity and
discussion provides a quick and interesting way to explore personal strengths
and preferences without the aid of a testing instrument.
The 'five senses' are typically regarded as:
Intuition is a way of explaining the 'sixth sense'.
Touch, smell and taste are all closely connected with the 'touchy-feely'
(Kinesthetic in VAK) aspect within the VAK model, the other two aspects being
sight (Visual in VAK) and hearing (Audio in VAK).
Your group might have additional ideas about other 'senses' which you can
include in the considerations, for example speech, movement, etc. If so then the
exercise relates more strongly to Multiple Intelligences theory.
Review angles:
What does this teach us about the different ways we prefer to
work/learn/communicate/think/solve problems/conduct relationships/etc?
What surprises you about other people's preferences?
What surprises you about your own preferences?
If you augment the exercise with the VAK test and/or MI test (see VAK
and Multiple Intelligence below) do the test results confirm or conflict with your
sense preferences?
Reference models and information:
VAK learning styles - and VAK test
Kolb's theory
Multiple Intelligence theory - and various versions of MI test, including
young people's version
Personality theory
Benziger brain-type theory
Johari Window model