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Summary of the past few weeks: we learn differently. Which means we live differently as lifelong learners. So let’s keep learning about learners—whether we find them in the classroom, workplace, or living room.
Time to meet logical/mathematical learners.
“This doesn’t make sense.” We’ve all heard this comment before. Sometimes, it means that someone is having difficulty learning a new concept. But don’t assume that’s always the case. Those gifted with logical and mathematical intelligence are constantly looking for patterns, order, and logic. If a concept isn’t logical, a learner with these skills will say so. But that doesn’t mean he or she isn’t learning.
Gifts of a logical/mathematical learner:
These learners excel at processing data. They will get excited about research projects and will be able to display information clearly. Science experiments and complex mathematical proofs provide an exciting challenge for these students.
A grounding force in a group, these learners will keep others focused on the task at hand, as long as they themselves are not distracted with an overwhelming amount of information to process. (Don’t be surprised if these students come in with their homework as well as an additional page of information they learned in the process of the project at hand.)
Myths of a logical/mathematical learner:
Because these learners enjoy logical patterns and things that can be proven, other learners assume such students shy away from theory, abstraction, and imagination. Those with such inclinations would benefit from considering some of the greatest minds in science and mathematics. Albert Einstein, for example, was not afraid of the abstract. Calculus poses beautiful logarithms that challenge the imagination. Logic and theory are not mutually exclusive.
Because of this learner’s no-nonsense persona, many people assume that he or she is rigidly focused on the task at hand. In reality, the opposite can be true for this learner with a passion for new information. There is a careful balance of promoting self-directed learning and focusing on a task. When a logical-mathematical learner gets excited about a topic, there may be no end to the kinds of research he or she will dive into. In a classroom or work setting, these learners may need to remind themselves to finish a project before delving into a new world of learning.
Equipping a logical/mathematical learner:
In the classroom, give these students plenty of opportunity for self-guided research. Stock the library with an assortment of nonfiction books on many topics. Provide access for educational videos.
In the workplace, these learners are well equipped for reviewing, processing, and analyzing data. Go further by asking these employees to provide educated predictions based on trends. Such challenges can well use the oft-perceived “stuffy” data in innovative ways.
At home, flex the brain muscles of your logical/mathematical learner by solving puzzles or playing strategy games together.
In the classroom, anticipate that “what if” discussions may be met with some resistance from these learners. In literature class, students with this skill set may not immediately see the need to talk about “fake” people in worlds that do not exist. That is not to say that plot is of no interest, but a question such as “What if George and Lenny ran away instead?” might not seem relevant. Consider also providing questions that relate a fictional scenario to a similar one in real life.
In the workplace, this colleague has a wealth of knowledge in his or her mind, but articulating facts to others may be a different story. When working with others without these skills, a logical-mathematical learner might grow frustrated with others who cannot grasp information that seems simple to him or her. This is why technical writers are in such high demand. An employee with logical/mathematical skills would do well to take some communications training or to collaborate with a colleague with verbal/linguistic or interpersonal skills.
At home, be prepared for a variety of feedback reactions. Sometimes, “How was your day?” might be met with very little information. This could be because this individual doesn’t feel that there is much to share. It could also be that this person’s mind is contemplating quantum physics and is too occupied at the moment. But then there may come a time when this fifth-grade learner will enter the room with a Google Doc presentation on her theory on which college is the most logical choice for her career path. Or he will want to show you an incredible video on the ratios within the solar system. Encouraging these learners to teach you is a great way for them to share what’s most important to them while also practicing their research and presentation skills.
Are you a logical/mathematical learner? What ways do you love to learn? What tips can you offer those who want to learn more about this learning style? What strategies do you use?
I’d love to hear from you as we continue this learning community!
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