#479 | Claire Tessier | Different learning styles

Submission 479
Claire Tessier
UU Church of Akron Ohio

What is your suggestion or idea?

I would like that Article 2 be written to take into account different learning styles. I would like to keep a list of the 7 or 8 principles and a list of our sources. Perhaps these, or expanded versions, could be placed either in an introduction or in a summary. More pictures might also be useful. I would also like that Article 2, and perhaps other Articles, be read to the person when they visit the website.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

Throughout my career as a university professor, I have found it useful to teach with awareness of the different learning styles. When I was a student, I was taught to read the text before coming to lecture. However, I can’t do that if I want to learn difficult or serious course material. Only after hearing a lecture, one that involves bulleted lists and pictures, do I even attempt to read the text. Several educators have told me that I am probably high functioning ADHD, a diagnosis that was not common when I was a child. Nowhere in the Article 2 Study report does it indicate that learning styles were considered in making revisions. Because Article 2 explains who we are, I think that not considering different learning styles is an important oversight. The proposed changes have taken away the bulleted lists (the principles and sources) that I am very dependent on for learning and replaced them with paragraphs of text. The addition of a picture is helpful but I found the picture somewhat incomplete. So overall, I would be far less likely to read the revised Article 2. I have been attending UU churches since ~1990, so a revised Article 2 really won’t greatly change things for me. After all, I have a framed copy of the 7 Principles. However, I worry about the effect on potential members, people who are like me and who do not see the replacement of bulleted lists with paragraphs as an improvement. Because ADHD and other learning difficulties seem to be increasing among the population, I think they should not be ignored in writing Article 2.

Have you discussed this idea with your congregation or other UUs?

I must admit that I have been somewhat reluctant to discuss my learning difficulties with others, which, in turn, has made me reluctant to discuss the Article 2 changes that I suggest above. However, I have had several discussions with members of my congregation. Some of them agreed with me because they want to keep the 7 principles and a few agreed because they are ADHD or have had other personal experiences with learning difficulties.

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