Cultural Influence On Learning Style Essay

1894 words - 8 pages

Having deaf parents is something I never thought had a huge impact in my life, till I realized it effected and influenced every aspect of it. While trying to assess my own personal learning style, I had a hard time not getting angry with the single minded exam I was face with. I took a quiz to determine if I was an audio learner or a visual learner. I could not help fighting off their influence and getting overwhelmingly confused. How could learning happen only by one of two means; audibly or visually. Does this mean that Deaf people, unless themselves visual learners cannot learn? If so, then what be of my friend, Jon, deaf and blind due to ushers, but a thriving artist and mathematician. And more self centered, where does that leave me, someone who is culturally Deaf, but can hear. If learning was as black and white as either visual or audio, I would be in a bit of trouble.
Upon pursuing a check list assessment, adapted by David Kolb, Experiential learning, to find which category I fit in, I realized I was failing the exam. The assessment is separated by two list, list A focusing on audio learners and list B focusing on visual learners. The idea here is the one with the most checks win. But I had very little of each checked, and the ones that were checked, when not upsetting me, were really components that fall under Deaf culture. For example one question focuses on being overly accused of “talking with your hands,” or another having trouble “understanding people if you are not looking at them.” (1984) Well growing up with deaf people, I can tell you these are cultural elements of my being, talking with my hands, being a lip reader, they may in fact take shape in to how I learn, but they are not a definitive, or worthy of a checkmark. Another question wants to know if I can spell better out loud, or on paper. (1984) The answer for me is neither, but I can fingerspell. In fact the only time I ever scored a hundred on a spelling exam was on a state screening for educational interpreters. I finger spelled words I cannot even pounce correctly, let alone spell out loud or write down. Fingerspelling is a linguistically feature of asl, words with no attributed sign, are spelled out. Some words like bus that have no sign, are fingerspelled quickly in one motion B-U-S, no pausing in-between each letter for clarity happens. They become one quickly morphed movement, and known as a lexicon sign. Many children who sign can not spell their names, or spell bus, but they do know the sign for it. It is very much the same with all words. I hear them, my fingers move. I write them, my eyes glaze over it. There was no way I could check off this spelling box on this quiz, with out including a footnote. There was no way for me to determine which aspects I was using naturally to enhance my learning, or which features I inherited culturally. The learning style test and philosophies, left no room for disabilities, or culture.
The Howard Gardners concept of...

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