The Style In Which I Learned
According to an article by Howard Gardner, there are two different ways in which American and Chinese children learn. Gardner says that Chinese children are taught using a more hands on method than American children, who he says are taught by experimenting. After reading this article, I began to think back upon the different ways in which I learned certain things. I realized that I was very rarely taught using the American style of learning. Rather I was shown in a hands on method like the Chinese use. Whether it was sports such as baseball or golf, or if it was in the way I was taught to write and draw. Even as far as high school, I realized that I was being taught, somehow or another, with a hands on method.
My dad has always been big on the sport of golf; therefore, as soon as I was old enough to swing a golf club, he was making a golfer out of me using the Chinese method. I was shown first of all how to position my hands on the golf club, and how to swing. He guided my hands and help me to learn the best method of driving through the ball. When it came time to putt, he stood behind me and guided my swing in order to get the best possible result. Eventually I developed my own swing and found what worked the best for me.
Like golf, the sport of baseball was a favorite of my dads. I grew up watching baseball and when I started to play tee-ball, there was nothing that my dad wanted more than to help me get better. He helped by showing me how to swing the bat and get the most power out of my swing. Also, he helped me develop a good throwing motion and helped me to improve on it by playing catch for hours in the yard. Eventually, I developed my own throwing motion and swing from what I was taught.
Sports were something to do in the summer when I was out of school, but the Chinese style of learning continued while I was in school. When first learning to write in kindergarten, the teacher showed me how to make the letters into words. The same when I learned how to write in cursive. I, along with the rest of the class, had to repeatedly make the letters until we had the correct method down. From there, I moved on and developed my own style of cursive based upon what I was taught.
The Chinese method of teaching in school could have been due to the fact that I went to country school and the teachers had more time to spend with each student. But the Chinese style of learning continued beyond grade school. In high school, especially in art class I was taught to draw and paint in the style of a famous artist. On one project in particular, we had to learn the style of Bob Ross. Daily practice helped me to develop a style just like his. From this I had to create an original painting using his style, but my own idea. Like the Chinese children in the story, I began in a traditional fashion of a famous artist and gradually developed my individual style.
Over all I was taught in the Chinese style and can rarely think of an occasion when I wasn’t. The Chinese style of hands on learning seemed to work better for me and for all Americans. From the experiences that I have had, I think I will try teach my children in the Chinese rather than the American style.