January 3, 2013

Learning Styles in Genealogy

One of my genealogy friends and fellow blogger Midge Frazel, recently wrote a blog post about Project Based Genealogy. I was fascinated by Midge's explanations of Project based versus Problem based and realized that the way I approach my genealogy is mostly Project based.

One of her key points was that genealogists often do not stop to analyze what they've found. Anyone who reads this blog or my AskOliveTreeGenealogy blog knows that I am constantly advising readers to study, think about and analyze the documents and facts they find when researching.

Midge goes on to talk about random abstract learning styles versus concrete sequential. Try as  I might, I'm definitely in the first group of random abstract! I can manage to stick to a methodical research plan in short bursts but am soon back to having huge leaps of ideas and hunches and off I go to investigate. Creative problem solving is definitely huge for me.

And true to form as I read Midge's post with great interest, I got side-tracked by a link she provided to an earlier blog post which also had a link to a site where you can take a quiz to find out what your learning style is.  I was hooked and off I went.  (Yes I did return to Midge's article and read it thoroughly. I urge everyone to have a good read of it)

So what learning style am I?  Intrapersonal. It's also called the Solitary Learning style. Yep that's me. I don't like any noise or any distractions and I hate interruptions. I'm also determined to figure things out on my own with no help from anyone else. Sometimes that's good and sometimes that's bad!

My family think I'm impulsive because I will, in their minds, suddenly make a decision about something I've not even discussed with them. But what they don't realize is that I've been researching the problem quietly, for weeks or months - sometimes for years, before I make my decision. So what comes as a sudden surprise to them is not sudden or impulsive at all. It's the result of a very long deliberation, of thinking over what I've found about the problem - the pros and cons.

I approach my genealogy research the same way. There is no right or wrong to how we conduct our genealogy but I like learning new methods and trying them out, seeing if I can adapt to them or adapt them to my style.

I should add that the Linguistic Style also ranked very high on my overall score on the quiz (75%) but Intrapersonal topped them with a whopping 94%. 

What about you? Take the quiz. Read Midge's blog post. Then come back and let me know in a comment on this post, what you think and what your learning style is.

17 comments:

Candace said...

My top three (50, 56, & 50%) were Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, and Visual-Spatial. I'm still trying to work out how that relates to my style of genealogical research.

Historian said...

I did similar quizzes to this at uni but the categories are named a bit differently so I was interested to see what the results would be. I've come out as Inter-personal 81% and Logical-Mathematical 75%. So working with other people and solving problems scientifically. Sounds ideal for Family History - thank you for suggesting I give that a go Lorine.

Sonja Hunter said...

My top three were Linguistic, Naturalistic and Logical-Mathematical (67, 67 & 56%). On a related note, you mention running off to look up some new bit of information. This reminds me of a post by Harold Henderson (Midwestern Microhistory) about "How Not To Be Buffalo Hunters" which discusses constantly looking for some new tidbit, but failing to synthesize all of the gathered data. I find that trying to write even a brief history of a person or family forces me to examine everything I have (though it also spurs some more hunting for information).

Jenny Lanctot said...

My top three were Linguistic (67%), Logical-Mathematical (63%), and Interpersonal (56%). The next three were 50%, 42%, and 19%. And at a whopping ZERO percent was Body-Kinesthetic! (I kind of already knew this).

Once I read the descriptions, it really made sense. Now I can use this information to help me with my Home Study Course!

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Candace - I am not sure how mine works out for my genealogy research either but it's fun to think about it

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Historian - it's interesting that Interpersonal and Logical-Mathematical often go hand in hand.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Sonja - I thought I'd be Logical-Mathematical but it was fairly low for me. I was surprised beause I love math and everyone says I'm very logical! I like that it challenged my assumptions

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Jenny - I was intrigued by how high my % was for Intrapersonal. Others who have commented here seem to be more evenly balanced in various areas.

I didn't get any zeros but my lowest was Body-Kinestethic at 8% so I'm not that far from you in that area :-)

Mariann Regan said...

This quiz sounds fun -- I've emailed it to hubs so we both can take it.

Years ago we took a quiz that told me I was abstract sequential. I think I'm a strange breed . . . stringing ideas in sequences or something.

Thanks for this blog. It's especially important for teachers to know that students have very different learning styles!

Jenna said...

I'm off to follow the links in your post!! :) I hope I make it back! Great post!

Jenna said...

I'm back, I took the quiz...just call me Sybil! :) I love these posts that make you stop and really think. Thanks!!

Yvonne Demoskoff said...

vMy top three scores were Intrapersonal (69%), Musical (63%) and Bodily-Kinesthetic (42%), Lorine. I'm going to see how I can make these learning styles work for me and genealogy :)

Hope said...

My top three are: Linguistic – 58%; Logical-Mathematical – 50%; Musical – 50%. I guess, if you create a song to teach me something, I would probably learn it. My lowest score was Intrapersonal (13%). I was immediately stuck on the first question: "How much time do you spend getting lost in a book?" I was completely analyzing it. Does this mean "Do you really love reading?" or "Do you often get lost (not understanding) in a book?"

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Hope, that is an interesting comment about learning something by singing it. My husband has a very bad memory but he remembers tv commercials and songs from 30 years ago! He always says that if I want him to remember I need to sing what I'm saying to him!

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Yvonne, I'm still mulling over how to apply mine. Let me know if you have any brainwaves!

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Hey Jenna - I do too. I was really glad I read Midge's blog which got me thinking about this stuff

stonechat said...

I am primarily Logico-mathematic (75%)
Also Interpersonal and visuo spatial at 50%

I am quite creative in working round problems