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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Update on Learning Styles and Eye Movements

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


November 19, 2018

For many years, educators have been taught to attend to students needs to learn as visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners. More and more research in recent years has shown that most effective learning matches the style to the task rather than to the style of the learner. Consider this recent publication in the New York Times:

In Cognitive CoachingSM, for many years, we have taught coaches to pay attention to eye movements as a means for assessing how a person might be processing information. That research from Neurolinguistic Programming is also being called in to question. More recent research at the University of Wisconsin by Kevin Hogan and others is informing our current work. An important Cognitive Coaching Capability is, “Attune to and adjust for human uniqueness.” Watching eyes may not accurately reflect how a person is thinking, but movement or staring or closing of eyes indicates there is thinking occurring. Attuning to these nonverbal cues assists the coach in knowing when to be silent, allowing the thinking to continue until the person returns to the center point to reengage in conversation. That is when the coach would paraphrase or pose a mediative question.

How does this new information fit with your own schema for learning styles and coaching? What modifications might it suggest to you in your work?

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