Why do we have many subjects in school? Why are they studied separately? The broad reason is to streamline our approach to studies. But this benefits linear thinkers more as they like to organise their habit of study. They can focus on one subject at a time. This approach does not necessarily work for intuitive thinkers who learn in wholes. Both the approaches have benefits but we need to get a scrutinizing view of them so that as tutors we can help students manage their style of learning. Linear thinkers are adept at organizing data they receive and they would like to separate subjects as compartmentalization makes their learning easier. The advantages are that they develop organizational skills and their structuring mechanism becomes efficient to the extent that they have everything they need in place.

For linear thinkers the world of schooling is structured to suit their intellectual orientation. In fact the difficulties linear thinkers have is that in an unstructured environment they struggle to start and too much flexibility can become a bane for them as they are so accustomed to playing by the rules. They need some authority and some direction without which they find themselves at sea. As the formal education system is bound by rules, system and authority it favours linear learners all the more. Formal education does not quite meet the needs of lateral thinkers and intuitive learners as they do not separate areas of learning from each other. They are not linear in their style of learning. In fact they may learn by inversion. They tend not to have a system by which they set milestones in their learning process. This is what makes them creative because they do not need a system to govern their style of learning. The advantage of intuitive learners is that they get trained, as a result of being unstructured, to be self-directed. They learn by cognitive free-play.

Cognitive free-play is the tendency to allow cognition to run in line with imagination. Here the rules are broken to free the learner’s mind from the confines of the framework in question. The difficulty with learners who employ cognitive free-play is that the formal education system is too rigid to accommodate their style. Teachers therefore need to know how to fine tune their approach to help such students succeed even in a formal setting. This is often difficult for teachers as it asks of them some creativity and patience. In online classes tutors use creativity to the student’s advantage to the extent that it benefits both linear thinkers and intuitive thinkers by maximizing technology and learning by association.

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