Gallery walk : Learning by moving

Gallery Walk : Learning By Moving Around

Trust me. When I say that it’s boring to stay still in a classroom for an hour, I really do mean it!

If I had a dollar for every time I caught my students dozing of or scanning their phones in my class, I’d gladly give up my salary (wink). You peeps agree with me?

Teaching ESL is not easy and I feel sorry for the learners too who have to cope with a dozen other problems besides learning a new language. A month into teaching my new batch, it reflected in their behavior. I wasn’t happy.

I had to try a new approach. So, I buckled up and folded my sleeves to work on introducing a new learning technique.

Enter, Gallery Walk.

Gallery walk is not something new and is quite popular among teachers and students. It’s a learning technique where students learn by walking around the classroom. What again? Yes. Moving in groups.

Here’s how it works…

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Learning Styles: Fleming’s VARK Model

We are all designed to function differently. From thinking to learning and to doing a task, we have our own style, which sets us apart from other people. 

The “one thing suits all” approach doesn’t always work and what better example than a classroom to prove it?

Thankfully, many concepts on learning styles have been identified by various experts. Teachers can benefit from these concepts, which help understand a student’s learning preferences.

There are many concepts – Kolb’s model and the Jungian learning styles, etc. – that identify different styles of learning. One such popular model was put forth by Neil Fleming in 1987.

Fleming’s VARK model categorizes learners into:

  1. Visual learners: Learn better by visualizing and prefer:
    • Diagrams
    • Mind maps
    • Algorithms.
  2. Aural learners: Learn better by hearing and prefer:
    • Lectures
    • Discussions
    • Audio recordings
  3. Kinesthetic learners: Learn better by doing things and prefer:
    • Videos
    • Role play
    • Simulations.
  4. Learning through reading/writing: Learn better by reading/writing and prefer:
    • Articles
    • Slides
    • Handouts.

The categorization mainly helps understand different learning styles. In case of classroom learning, combining all the above modes also works. As for the percentage of people that can be put under each of these categories, following is a simple infographic that gives a rough idea:

Learning Style and Percentages

VARK Learning Style Classification

 

(Note: The numbers are approximate. Please cross-verify the information before using for research or other academic purposes)