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Podcast Interview with Kal Otis

Kal is the owner of Creative Ministry Group Consultants as well as  the family and children’s pastor at South Park Church in Park Ridge, Illinois.

The Creator of this universe has created people with different learning styles to bring Him glory. Each style understands and expresses Faith differently. Kids and those who teach them have different styles and this can create confusion, frustration and obstacles. This workshop will help you understand how each style receives information and uses it and how you can become more effective in adapting lessons, communicating, teaching and evaluating your successfulness in reaching those whom God has entrusted you with.

I am excited to be with you to talk about Learning styles and how to make the most of them. I am a wife, a mother of two and a grandma to 3. I am currently serving as a Family Pastor in Chicago. I have been working with kids for the past 29 years – in recent years my focus has shifted to equipping leaders and families.

Because of my own life story I am passionate about making every child see and understand their potential in Christ. That they have worth – that in spite of what the world tells them – they are beautiful inside and out because they are made in the image of God. My background in Child Dev has allowed me to apply skills/knowledge in understanding God’s unique handprint in each person. In order for kids to see their purpose and value, all of us that invest in them should become students of how God has wired them.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the ways they should go and they will not depart from it.

This is a misunderstood verse. It’s not about disciplining children neither is it about our authority over them – something is lost in translation in this verse – just like our five fingers are different, so are each of our children. This verse encourages us to understand the natural bend of children and to guide them to follow that bend. When we guide them towards their natural bend, we show them value and give them the loving guidance necessary to develop their God given talents/giftings – this makes them fulfill God’s purpose with JOY. One of the ways we can understand their bend is to understand their LS

What is Learning Style?

  • Learning style is the process through which a person prefers to take in and process
  • We all take in information and process it through a combination of hearing, seeing or moving – no matter which of the 7 intelligences you are.
  • Preferences show remarkable resistance to change.
  • Learning styles are neutral. Students of various learning styles should an equal opportunity to do well.
  • Let me caution you not to use LS to ‘box’ a kid in, but to help give them tools so they can thrive using their natural bend.
  • Today we will be learning about ONE of the dimensions that can add to your overall understanding of natural learning styles strengths and preferences.

The brain is an amazing muscle that makes us all different. To understand LS researchers try to understand which parts of the brain is the most active in a person.

All intelligences use these three ways to learn – however we all have

Test can be found at

– Your highest score is your preferred LS

  • Your second score actually supports your dominant style
  • Why learn about Learning Styles?
    • Understanding LS allows us to be effective as teachers and reach kids of all styles.
    • If this is true – a lot rests of those that teach. We cannot afford to teach from our style alone.
    • The fact is most people cannot learn or cannot learn to their fullest ability if they are not learning in the modality
    • It’s easy to spend most of our time teaching in your own styles. When teachers understand students’ learning styles and adjust their teaching to those styles, students will learn. “Teaching to style” enables teachers to begin reaching everyone God gave us to teach. Communication breaks down when your learning preferences and those of your students/family/audience aren’t in alignment.
    • Learning styles gives us insight into how God has wired everyone differently – it’s not a matter of who appears ‘smart’ or ‘not so smart’ from your perspective.
    • Students learn faster and enjoy learning more if their preferred learning strengths are affirmed. (Also when it is reinforced through their second preference)
    • Knowing your own style and teaching others about theirs can change opinions about what each one of us is willing to do for Jesus.
    • Knowing about different Learning styles enlarges our view of our Creator. It affirms God’s creativity and diversity
    • Whenever there is information to be shared, discussion to be had, or decisions to be made by a group of people, it is very helpful to understand that members of the group may take in and process information Using a variety of ways to share information with the group will allow all members to fully and successfully engage in the group process.
  • Research shows that in a group of 10 – 2 prefer auditory, 4 visual and 4 by moving (males more than female require movement.

Auditory Learners: learning by listening to verbal instructions; remembering by forming the sounds of words.

  • They learn best through
    • verbal lectures,
    • discussions,
    • talking things through and l
    • listening to what others have to say.
  • They cannot take notes because they are very tuned in to sounds.
  • interpret the underlying meanings of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch, speed and other nuances.
  • Written information may have little meaning until it is heard.
  • These learners often benefit from reading text aloud and using a tape recorder.
  • Talk to themselves; like to talk through a problem; read aloud; often move their lips and pronounce the words as they read; often repeat words to hear them.
  • Often good speakers; speak in rhythmic patterns; remember what they hear.
  • Don’t visualize well;
    • can spell better out loud;
    • respond to patterns of sound, speech, music.
  • Find writing difficult; are talkative, love discussion.
  • Written test slow them down. Perform better on oral tests!

Visual Learners: learning by seeing and watching; using strong visual associations.      

  • These learners need to see the teacher’s body language and facial expression to fully understand the content of a lesson.
  • They tend to prefer sitting at the front of the classroom to avoid visual obstructions (e.g. people’s heads).
  • They may think in pictures and learn best from visual displays including:
  • diagrams,
  • illustrated text books, videos, multi-media presentations, flipcharts and hand-outs.
  • You will find them staring into space sometimes because they are trying to create images in their mind.
  •  Detailed notes to absorb the information.
  • Like to arrange their space and their work; remember what they see rather than what they hear, forget to relay verbal messages.
  • Respond to color, art, mapping; may know what to say but have difficulty coming up with the right words.
  • Like to have a plan, good organizers, would rather show you than tell you.
  • Usually don’t mind outside noise, doodle during phone conversations, classes, meetings.
  • Are often good spellers, usually need to have verbal instructions repeated.
  • Enjoy reading and would rather read than be read to; need to see the ‘whole picture’ before they have a clear idea.

Research shows that when half a group of visual learners was shown text (and no pictures) while the other half was shown pictures  – when asked to recall the group that was shown pictures did 133% better than their picture less peers. Poor or non-readers represent 60 million Americans – 1/3 of the population!

Overwhelming evidence that we should be using pictures with every lesson we teach.

Tell a story without picture and it won’t register.  Show me a pictures and I’ll remember the story and what God wants to teach me through the story,

Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners: learning by becoming physically involved and actually doing something with what’s being learned.

  • Tactile/Kinesthetic persons learn best through a hands-on approach, actively exploring the physical world around them.
  • They may find it hard to sit still for long periods and may become distracted by their need for activity and exploration.
  • Need to move a lot; can’t sit still for long periods; like to experiment and practice.
  • Speak slowly, use action words; stand close when talking to someone.
  • Like to touch and be physically involved with materials; memorize by walking and seeing.
  • May have messy handwriting.
  • Use a finger as a pointer when reading; gesture a lot.
  • Respond to movement gestures, dance; want to act things out.
  • Have difficulty remembering a place unless they’ve actually been there.
  • Hardest to fit in any classroom or learning environments. Maybe one of the reasons why boys become disinterested at a early age and drop out

Some common words they use:

Understanding others preferences means that you can improve your communication skills. Look for verbal cues:

Visual’s will say: I see what you man, it is clear cut, in light of, it appears to me…

Auditory’s will say: I hear you, please describe in detail…

Kinesthetic’s will say: I have a feeling for what you’re saying, come to grips with it…

  • What distracts each learning style?
  • How does each style view God and why?

Auditory – hears God

Visual – Forms pictures

Kinesthetic- a feeling God

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