Learning Styles and Work Orientation
- Learning Styles
- Vocational Orientation
- Is there a correlation between learning styles and vocational orientation?
The term learning style refers to an individual’s preferred studying and learning acquisition strategies. In other words, learning styles are the preferences and tendencies that a person can use to gain knowledge. We all use different strategies that suit our personality and abilities in order to learn more effectively; most of the time we don't even realise it.
According to the book Frames of Mind (1983), by Dr. Howard Gardner of Harvard, there are seven different intelligences or learning styles, visual, kinesthetic, aural, linguistic, and logical. Furthermore, in the past few years, he introduced one new aptitude: naturalistic intelligence [Rich Dad, Poor Son for Teens by Robert T. Kiyosaki & Sharon L. Lechter.]. A brief definition for each of these learning styles are shown below:
Visual/Spatial - Allows individuals to communicate and visualise ideas through the use of images, diagrams, maps, puzzles, and other visual representations.
Physical/Kinesthetic - Allows individuals to communicate and learn through the use of their bodies; for instance, dancing, acting out, role playing, and/or manipulating objects.
Musical/Aural - This type of learners learn and communicate better through the use of sounds, music, rhythm, and musical patterns.
Interpersonal - Allows individuals to communicate and learn when collaborating, discussing, and talking to others.
Intrapersonal - Individuals with this learning style are very independent and learn best through reflection and analysis.
Linguistic - As the name suggests, this type of learners learn and express themselves better through the use of words, both written and spoken.
Logical/Mathematical - This type of learners prefer to learn through the use of numbers, patterns, logic games, and reasoning.
Naturalistic Intelligence - Individuals with this learning style learn best by classifying, recognising, and interacting with the natural environment that surrounds them
Although these learning styles or intelligences are meant to help individuals, students in particular, to get to know themselves better; there is a large number of students who are not capable of identifying which learning techniques would help them learn efficiently and assimilate their knowledge. For these reasons, there are tests designed to help students find out their learning styles that consequently will allow them to improve their studying techniques. Nevertheless, the more specific the test is, the more expensive it gets, and therefore they cannot be acquired by all students.
Vocational orientation, also known as career orientation, is the process of guiding an individual in order to determine which would be the most successful educational and professional paths for them. In addition, vocational orientation provides individuals with information about the career options that would best fit their profiles.
It is very important that students orient themselves towards their interests and objectives, as well as being aware of the expectations and qualifications of the world of work. Vocational orientation tests have been specifically designed to help people of all ages to recognize their aptitudes and abilities. Unfortunately, many of these tests are not available to all students due to price or lack of knowledge about this type of tests. For this reason, there are numerous high school students that do not know what they should study in university. For instance, according to a survey sent out to 74 students from grades 6 to 12 in ISP, 58.1% of them do not know or are not sure of what they are going to study in university. Therefore, it is necessary that students get to know themselves, in order to select a career path.
It is true that ISP provides grade 9 students with the exceptional opportunity of finding an internship in a job of their interest. However, due to the lack of orientation in previous years, these students may not know what to do for their work experience, this way choosing an area they are not truly interested in. Furthermore, in grade 10, students are required to select the subjects they will be taking in the Diploma programme (grades 11 -12), although they are allowed to change their decision anytime, it is also really important that they have an idea of what they would like to do in the future in order to avoid any struggles later on. If all students were professionally oriented, this could reduce the number of students who stumble when one of life's most important decisions arrives.
Our vocation is the personal and cultural manifestation of our own identity. For this reason, it is fundamental that all secondary and high school students are wisely guided through the process of selecting an educational and professional path.
A survey was carried out to find out whether there is a relationship between the student’s learning styles and their future career selection; this survey was sent to 74 ISP students from grades 6 to 12. According to the data obtained from this questionnaire, 1 out of every 4 students (70%) do not know their learning style; furthermore, 2 out of 4 students (58.1%) do not know or are not sure of what they would like to study in university. Although this results might not represent the whole school, there is a large number of students who need proper orientation in both of these matters.
As it was mentioned in the two previous articles, it is very important for students to know themselves in order to choose a career or be successful in their education. It is fundamental that all students find a career that fulfils them, as well as helping them to develop their strengths. Nevertheless, this cannot be accomplished if secondary and high school students are not guided through the process of vocational selection and are left to their own devices. If schools started to help students know themselves, there would be a considerable decrease in the amount of students struggling with academic work and other decisions.
If all students had the opportunity to know their learning styles, they would also know the techniques and strategies that would help them to improve, not only in school, but in their daily lives. Moreover, the survey shows that 66.2% of the 74 students surveyed, believe that our learning styles can affect our future career decisions. Surprisingly, the percentage of students who know what they will study in university, 36.2%, is a smaller, almost equal, percentage to the number of students who don’t know their learning styles: 38.4%. On the other hand, 22 students or 16.2% of the students surveyed, do know what they will study in university. This is the same percentage of students who have a concrete idea of what their learning style is. It should be noted the 2.2% of students surveyed are not planning to attend university.
In accordance with all the results obtained in this survey, there is no clear relationship or correlation between learning styles and career selection. However, this does not mean students shouldn’t be mentored in both of these areas; it is essential that students know their strengths, weaknesses, and interests in order to be successful in life. All individuals should have the opportunity to know themselves, as ‘those who feel they have no place, or are not recognized for who they are, are unhappy and can be so for the rest of their lives’ (Nadine Mouchet, personal communication, November 20th 2019).
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Hernandez, Miranda. "Learning Styles and Vocational Orientation" Survey. 26 Oct. 2019
Hernandez, Miranda. "Vocational Orientation" Survey. 26 Oct. 2019
Beillon, François-Xavier. Personal Interview. 11 Nov. 2019
Sophie. Personal Interview. 16 Nov. 2019
Diane. Personal Interview. 16 Nov 2019
Zoe. Personal Interview. 16 Nov 2019.
Veydant. Personal Interview. 16 Nov. 2019
Isaac. Personal Interview. 17 Nov 2019
Lavalle, Cyrille. Personal Interview. 18 Nov 2019
Mouchet, Nadine. Personal Interview. 20 Nov. 2019
Christian. Personal Interview. 21 Nov. 2019
The following tests are a compilation of the most common and basic questions that can be used to figure out one's learning style. These tests seek to lead students into the vast world of learning styles, in the hope that they can get to know themselves better, so that they can later on choose a career that fits their strengths and interests. After answering these tests, it is the responsibility of each individual to further their knowledge in the world of learning.
About the tests:
- Identification of Learning Styles:
This test includes the 8 different learning styles, with some of the most common questions asked in order to be easily identified. You can print this test by clicking on the link below:
- Learning Style Test (Neuro-Linguistic Programming):
This test is based of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) which refers to the functioning of the human mind. Nevertheless, this test is also quite basic, and it is only a compilation of the questions you are more likely to find in a NLP test. The purpose of this test is to help you understand which is the learning style that fits you the most (Visual, Aural, or Kinesthetic), however, as it was said before, it is your responsibility to keep researching about the techniques that help you learn best. You can print this test by clicking on the link below:
- Test, websites, apps, and more
- Test, websites, apps, and more
- Test, websites, apps, and more
- "Les Parcours de L'Orientation"
On the following tabs you can find some existing examples of career, aptitude, and personality tests and other resources. All of these tests seek to help people not only learn about their different strengths and weaknesses, but also make decisions that are part of their career paths. Not all of these examples are directed to high school students, however, they can be helpful later on; for these reason most of these resources will be accompanied of a brief explanation of their purpose. Please note that some of these are not completely free, and therefore you will need to pay to obtain extra information about your career options. You must keep in mind at all times that these resources are meant to guide your decisions, however, it is your responsibility to keep researching after you have an idea of what your strengths and interests are. You can access the tests by clicking on the images.
Hello Charly is a chatbot (a bot which communicates through messages) that discusses with students (14+) about their career and university choices. You can use it for free through Messenger, however, the Premium version provides more specific guidance and advice.
Human Roads specialises in studying data in professional and educational pathways. They work with higher education institutions to analyse their data, in order to help them make better decisions. Read the interview with François-Xavier Beillon, cofounder of Human Roads to learn more about the project.
Morrisby is an application directed to schools and colleges. This app seeks to guide students and other people to make better choices by providing relevant and objective information about the world of work.
CareerFitter is a career personality test designed by psychologists, specifically for people who seek career guidance. In this app/website, you can take a career test for free, however, the paying version provides more specific information about your best career choices and other particular information about your aptitudes.
16Personalities.com is a personality test that allows you to have a better understanding of your strengths and other qualities, as well as advise and guide you in both vocational and other aspects.
My Next Move is a website which provides diverse information about different careers. You can take the O*NET Interest Profiler in this same website; this test is designed to help individuals to find out their interests and how they can relate to their future career.
My Plan provides resources and information regarding careers to students and adults. You can also take a personality test in this website.
The Motivational Appraisal Personal Potential Assessment provides essential information about your interests and aptitudes. As in other tests, if you desire more specific information you will need to get the premium version of the test.
The Keirsey Group seeks to help people to understand themselves and others better through the use of assessments, workshops, orientation and other resources. You can take a test in this website to find out you Keirsey profile.
Minnesota State Careerwise provides students with a test that allows them to identify their areas of interest and the careers related to such interests.
The Princeton Review is a website designed to help high school students with academic work, as well to give advice and guidance about other aspects such as vocational orientation. Take a career test at The Princeton Review.
The Myers Briggs Type Indicator assessment is a personality test that seeks to help people know themselves better. However, this assessment has a price of $49.9 to get started.
Job Quiz is a career aptitude test designed to help you know your interest and find your perfect career. Results are just $9.99 or $6.99 for students.
Studyrama is a French orientation test and its goal is to help students and adults to know their areas of interests and other aspects of vocational orientation.
Parcoursup is the national platform for pre-registration in the first year of higher education in France.
"Les Parcours de L'Orientation" by Nadine Mouchet (2019), is a personal activity booklet targeted to high school students; it provides an overview of what orientation is, as well as it includes numerous activities, tips, and useful information to guide you through the process of creating a career path. This booklet is extensively used in many French high schools.
An ECA which will provide students from grade 6 to 10 with more in depth information about learning styles; as well as orienting them in the world of work by providing advice, and useful information such as learning to write a CV (very useful for students in grade 9 involved in work experience). This ECA will happen during the second semester, every Wednesday at Cortambert from 12:15 - 12:45.