According to the Index of Learning Styles developed by Richard Felder and Linda Silverman in the late 1980s, there are four continuums that every speaker should be aware of, , , Sensory to Intuitive, , ,Visual to Verbal, , , Active to Reflective, , , Sequential to Global.
Let’s look at the first two “extremes.” Sensory learners are interested in the concrete, practical, and procedural information. They just want the facts.
While the Intuitive learners prefer conceptual, creative, and theoretical ideas. Meaning is vital to them.
Let’s look at the above six descriptive words, as opposite as they may at first, appear. Concrete, practical, and procedural , , , and conceptual, creative, and theoretical.
What teaching tool could tie these two groups of three together? What could illustrate both the concrete and the conceptual? The practical and the creative? The procedural and the theoretical?
Only one tool, , , a perfectly designed Theme Model.
Let’s look at one, The Product Life Cycle (PLC). Its' four phases are both, , , concrete and conceptual. Products really do go through these (concrete) phases, introduction, growth, maturity and decline.
But product development is also a conceptual experience, , , like knowing when to activate new resources and activities to insure “growth” or extend “maturity.” The PLC’s bell curve illustrates both of these “extremes.”
All the way accross the board the Theme Model is a clear winner as both a flexable and reliable communication tool.
In future posts I’ll cover the other ends of continuums of the Felder/Silverman model.