The Gifts of Cooperation & Interpersonal Relations
The social learner is stimulated and motivated by peer interaction. Therefore, they have a great aversion to doing things alone. As much as they like to be helped, they love to help others. They fall into two primary categories: the followers (dependent) and the team players (inter-dependent). Social learners inherently love people, and require the help of others to genuinely learn. Without the input or assistance of others their motivations can wane and frustrations mount. They do not work or learn well independently, and although this may be necessary, it can be met with disdain. It is through relationships that they process and assimilate information effectively, and therefore peers are a critical influence during their education, as they are reliant upon their advice, support, opinions, and insights to determine their own. They enjoy group conversation, peer programs, extra-curricular activities, tutoring, social clubs, sororities/fraternities, field trips and study groups. Social learners may not be inherently studious. Team players often reach their goals and aspirations with extraordinarily high achievements. However, the followers are the most likely of any learning style to drop out if their needs are not met.
But the time must come when they learn to fly. For the follower this can be intimidating and despite their social flair, they can find themselves to be at a disadvantage. More than any other learning style these individuals can become overly dependent upon their peers or mentors for input, advice, and support in their area of study to a degree of detriment. Functioning within their own autonomy and developing their critical thinking skills is their greatest challenge. When these areas are not developed they can become vulnerable to either wrong information or ill advice for the sake of peer acceptance, putting them at risk for a myriad of social problems.
More than any other learning style, the social learner may readily accept what they are told and rarely question information given, regardless of which category into which they may fall. The thought of disrupting any social network or group is troubling to them. Therefore, they can remain very vulnerable and naive despite their academic success. In light of their grades, their true academic knowledge can actually be lacking. The social learner does not often find where they stand until they attain a career for themselves that does not afford such help. Social learners can often be easily persuaded, may be more likely to accept information readily, and among all learning styles are one of the easiest to teach. Again, peer networks are vital to them. Any disruption is unwelcome, although it may be in their best interest.
Again, the key for the social learner, whether a follower or team-player, is to develop their own autonomy and critical thinking skills despite healthy peer interactions, relationships, or support. When that balance is achieved, social learners can reach extraordinary heights, being gifted in many fields of work that legitimately require their social skills. However, if their autonomy and critical thinking remain undeveloped or compromised, they will seldom fly alone. They can be quite happy remaining at the level of their peers.
Social learners are the most vulnerable of any learning style, requiring parental guidance and supervision throughout their education due to the influence of vast social networks and peer relations, which are the primary drive for their academic success. When adulthood comes and that dynamic changes, they can struggle if not properly prepared.
While the team-player (inter-dependent) will take the autonomous route in helping others; the follower (dependent) will rely heavily upon peer support.
Tips & Techniques
Remain accountable to parents and instructors for your progress.
Study areas should be designated.
Notes should be shared via discussion, but not copied.
Study partners and groups should be chosen carefully with parental discretion.
Progress needs to be monitored regularly through self-testing.
Develop your own critical thinking skills.
Develop autonomy, as your study groups may not always be available.
Seek the answers to questions yourself before asking others.
Be fully prepared prior to engaging in group study times, and be ready to contribute.
Limit the number of extra-curricular activities for the sake of focus.
Fields of Work
Public Speaking & Relations
TV & Broadcasting
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