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The Abstract Random Learning Style for Students with Disabilities

By Barbara

Mohamed is a highly unusual abstract random learner in his 10th grade class at West High School. As a recent immigrant student from Ethiopia, Mohamed has learned English quickly and is working on increasing his fluency in written expression and in comprehension of what he reads in his textbooks.

Meet Mohamed- A Highly Unusual Abstract Random Learner

Mohamed is a highly unusual abstract random learner in his 10th grade class at West High School. As a recent immigrant student from Ethiopia, Mohamed has learned English quickly and has hit the wall in navigating through the maze of required reading in all of his high school classes.

As an abstract random learner, Mohamed learning and processing style focus on building relationships and is highly emotive in social engagements. According to Anthony Gregorc, Mohamed’s learning style will also encompass the additional characteristics of the following:

  • Responsive to visual methods of instruction
  • Enjoys engagement in group discussion
  • Like to reflect in his journal during his math reflective time
  • Likes direct instruction in the classroom
  • Enjoys the rapport of his teachers and classmates
  • Likes to reflect on his personal experiences in the classroom

Teaching Tips for Effective Instruction: Abstract Random Learners

In most of Mohamed’s classrooms, teachers use instructional methods that include videos, group discussions for projects, case studies that are applicable to the subject matter and invite a diversity of guest speakers to the classroom. Mohamed has been lucky in that his learning style is directly aligned with the teaching styles of most of his teachers.

In classrooms where student discussions are the norm and ideas are shared, Mohamed is able to thrive in understanding learning in a more informal and personalized educational environment. Mohamed can focus on building friendships and developing relationships as he navigates his way through his high school years as an abstract random learner. Read on for a summary of effective teaching tips for abstract random learners.

Teaching Tips - Abstract Random Learners

  • Group collaborations that include pair/share groupings and smaller groups (3-4) for projects
  • Interactive learning opportunities - include presentations, verbal processing of the learning objectives and goal times for processing information
  • Scaffolding information into chunks - allowing students to break down reading context and learning outcomes into smaller learning segments will create more opportunity for students to process academic chunks of information
  • Direct instruction will allow abstract random learners to take notes and organize them into usable learning outlines.
  • Group discussions with peers will allow students to have active social engagement in verbalizing their learning process and understanding of the teachers' instruction.
  • Journaling creates an opportunity for students to reflect on "what is known" and "what needs additional processing."

Teachers can provide the most effective instruction for students like Mohamed when they understand how the dynamics of the student's IEP (Individualized Education Plan) and learning style engage in processing student learning outcome in the classroom.