Practice Education

Practice Education – Learning for the future from practice experience and reflexion.


A major part of studying a health related course is that students get the opportunity to go out into their chosen discipline and apply the theoretical knowledge that has been gained in university, and put this into practice in a clinical setting. These practical placements are a good way for students to consolidate learning, and also learn new skills. Learning is the process where new information is gained, Felder and Brent (2005) suggest that people learn in different ways and have different strategies and styles of learning, there is not one particular learning style better than the other, there are simply different ways of learning.

Learning styles

Learning styles help an individual understand the best way that we can learn new information; an example of a learning style model is the VARK model. This model suggests that there are four different types of learners who are categorized by the way that an individual gathers, organizes and interprets information; the four main learning styles of the model are visual, aural, read/write and kinaesthetic learners (Fleming 2001). There is a difference in approaches to learning for each of the four different styles. Fleming 2001 suggests that visual learners prefer pictures, charts and diagrams to learn, where as aural learners prefer discussion groups and listening to spoken information, such as tapes. Read and write learners learn best from textbooks and writing notes, but kinaesthetic learners like to use a hands on approach and practical examples to learn.

The Felder – Soloman learning style model is a model that concentrates on the strengths and preferences that a particular individual uses to gather and processes information (Felder & Silverman 1988). The model uses five different scales, with different learning styles at each end of the scale. An individual can be at either end of the scale, indicating a...