The teachings of the Four Directions of the Sacred Medicine Wheel will support learning for all students regardless of individual learning styles. The Four Directions in a learning situation are Spiritual, Emotional, Physical, and Mental. Chris, my on-line classmate who facilitated the discussion forum for the topic “Introverts in the Classroom” shared an inspired strategy that fits into the Four Directions of learning.
During the discussion, Chris shared an introduction strategy that he had just tried after studying the needs of the introvert in learning. Chris first warned all of his new students that he would be doing introductions halfway through class and gave them personal information they would need to answer (mental). He then paired students up and had them interview each other with the questions (physical). Then each pair came up to the front and introduced their paired classmate based upon the interview (mental, emotional). I am sure this exercise helped the students create a positive feeling of community (spiritual). Of greatest importance, Chris’s creative adaptation of a learning strategy allowed students, all with different learning styles and needs, to feel supported and honoured.
When speaking about my students I dislike putting any type of label on that person. I was labelled “shy” as a student and I was treated as intellectually less than the outgoing and chatty students. Teaching from the Four Directions will help any teacher support the different styles of learning individual students bring to a classroom or learning environment. When I use the Four Directions, I find my students responding more positively and create much better writing and assignment work.