Education is a vast subject area. There are a large number of challenges facing the teachers of today. It would be naive to say that the challenges facing a newly-qualified primary school teacher would be the same as those faced by senior university lecturers. A recent American study found that job satisfaction, budget cuts and tailoring education to individual needs were 3 of the most challenging aspects of teaching today. (Metlife 2012) This essay will briefly discuss some elements of learning theory and discuss the importance of tailoring teaching to the individual so that learning can be applied correctly. I will then focus on the topic of Simulation in medical education to highlight how this method of teaching can be applied to real-life scenarios.
Teaching and Learning Theory
An educator in broad terms is defined as "a person who provides instruction". (Oxford Dictionary) It is now possible to understand how wide ranging the role of an educator can be. Teaching theory is based on learning theory, In order to provide effective instruction one must therefore understand how people learn.
Different people learn in in different ways, and most people have more than one learning style that changes depending on the circumstance. Many educators still rely on traditional didactic methods, but in order to impart maximal knowledge many use a variety of teaching methods and adjust them according to their target audience. There are a vast range of published learning styles and teaching theories and it would be impossible to discuss them all here.
The VARK model of learning styles is one of the most well known models and is based on neuro-linguistic programming. Flemming and Mills (1992) suggested 4 distinct learning styles which consist of visual, aural, read/write and kinesthetic styles. By tailoring teaching methods to individual students one can maximise the amount of knowledge that students retain. Students can also use this to tailor...