I was asked this week how I learned best. A very interesting question considering I work in higher education and am a student in the college of education. Hopefully we’ve all heard about the plethora of learning styles based on David Kolb’s experiential learning model. The core idea is that we all learn in different ways. More importantly, we each have a way that we best retain the information we are taught. When I was asked this, I was reflecting on myself…
Then a new idea came up. Think about your fraternity or sorority or your student organization. How often do we utilize and apply different learning styles? Sure we have all sat through those long drawn out presentations…I’ve given a few of those myself. We have all (again, I hope) done some service learning while out improving and promoting the community as well as FSL.
But what else do we offer?
When was the last time you sat down and discussed a case study with your brothers or sisters, one with a lot of gray areas to cause disagreement. I remember a brother sharing a story from a news channel that played a lot on current religious and political tensions. We spent over an hour discussing the video and the different view points in the room. When was the last time you had a balanced discussion that was not related to organizational business? I remember spending long nights at the house discussing women’s rights and sexual assault and rape with my brothers. When did you last do something different? I remember one of our largest recruitment events during my time was a gumbo night with Dr. Rupert Nacoste who came out and discussed neodiversity with the brothers and our guests while we enjoyed some delicious gumbo. When was the last time your wrote a simple note encouraging and appreciating the service or efforts of a brother? I remember getting several encouraging notes (and Ducks) from the chapter’s academic advisor, Mindy Sopher.
While I can stand there and tell you I attended several events and meetings where we talked and discussed, these events are the ones that stand out; they are the ones where I learned. These people that did things differently are the ones that stand out and I remember their lessons.
So I ask again: How do you learn best?