Learning and Thinking Style

Research tells us that children approach learning and thinking in variety of ways. There is no one or a single approach to learning and thinking, in-fact their are hundreds of learning and thinking style. However, in this article we will introduce one widely deliberated styles – impulsive / reflective learning style

Impulsive / Reflective Styles: 

Impulsive student have a tendency to act or solve a problem quickly or impulsively rather than take time to respond or reflect on the answer. This in most cases result in an inaccurate answer or mistakes. Whereas, a reflective student  takes more time to respond, reflect on the accuracy of the answer. Research has shown that reflective students are more likely to do well in a given task than an impulsive student, they learn effectively and do better in school. Some reflective students take forever to respond, as they ponder on a problem for long, and have difficulty finishing the task. (An example is perfectionism. Perfectionism has been linked to positive, but also to negative consequences – namely if perfectionism hinders completion of tasks.). In some cases impulsivity can be a result of learning disability like Attention Deficit Disorder. Their are number of strategies for helping students self-regulate their behaviour

Also, over a period of time the student is able to organise and structure knowledge, and thus able to faster retrieve required information, resulting in fast and accurate learning style. In-other words moving from being a novice to an expert. 

Strategies for working with Impulsive Children:

  1. Determine which student in the classroom are impulsive.
  2. Talk with them and encourage them to take time to think before responding.
  3. Encourage them to label new information as they work with it.
  4. Demonstrate reflective style as a teacher in the classroom (be the role model)
  5. Help students set high standards for their performance.
  6. Recognise when impulsive students start to take more tie to reflect. Compliment them on their improvement.
  7. Guide students in creating their own plan to reduce impulsivity


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