Why Learning Styles?
I promised to talk more this week about obstacles in knitting patterns/projects. I actually drew up a list of topics I want to address and it ended up looking like maybe I should start by talking about learning styles. Learning styles impact how we take in information, and how we give information. What are knitting patterns, classes, videos, etc. if not information imparted from one to another?
According to most current thought, there are seven types of learners, and as I posted last week, we may have a combined set of learning styles. At the risk of being repetitive, the styles are: Visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social, and solitary.
How we learn is likely too to impact how we share information too. Mostly, knitting patterns try to strip out extra material, which leaves them heavily reliant on verbal and logical presentations. This is great if those are the tools you use to learn knitting, or to write patterns, but I think that they may be lacking for both sides of that equation. I believe this is why people find videos so helpful, because it adds in aural and visual. Plus it allows the solitary knitter (or pattern writer) to learn (or teach) in an environment that is comfortable for them. The social learning will totally share the cool video with everyone they know!
Knitting actually has a built in physical factor, because we have to pick up our needles and yarn, which opens many of us to learning, but if that is not matched by supporting material, even that–as we all know–will not help make instructions we do not find clear any clearer.
I think this article on handwriting and reading and learning can be nicely tied to knitting.
Why Change What has Always Worked?
I have this conversation a lot, because I think we need to think about ways we can present knitting patterns. Folks who are verbal and logical can see no reason to change things and it isn’t really clear what changes are needed, so it seems best to stick with what we’ve always done. I believe that how patterns are written can lead to frustration on both sides of the equation. The answer might lay in finding a more balanced approach that incorporates a larger number of the seven learning styles to present information. With the advent of downloadable patterns, we could be freed from the constraints of space that have long been dictators. The internet opened the world of knitting. Now let’s think about opening even further the world of presenting knitting information.