Introduction to the Concrete Random Learner: A Case Study of a Student with Learning Disabilities

Meet Sasha: Concrete Random and Loving It

Sasha’s IEP (Individual Education Plan) doesn’t mention her learning style anywhere in the legal document, nor would it. However, teachers have found in the typical trial and error approach of viewing Sasha’s approach to learning and her academic performance that she has a unique way of learning about the world around her: Concrete Random Learning Style.

Sasha considers herself intuitive and insightful which don’t necessarily translate into a definitive grade point average or consistent academic performance in any of her high school classes. In Algebra I, Sasha looks at a quiz and does the trial and error approach; if she knows how to do the problems, she does and if she doesn’t, she leaves the answers blank. She is delightful in the classroom and questions every teacher on anything that say is factual and documented.

The structure of the traditional high school experience creates discord in Sasha’s classroom experiences and in her perception of what she wants and needs for to make her life work more effectively. According to Anthony Gregorc’s Learning Styles, Sasha’s concrete learning style would be defined by the following attributes:

  • Trial and error method of study
  • Intuitive way of looking at the world
  • Loves a rich and stimulating learning environment
  • Embraces competition
  • Implements change
  • Impulsive socially and academically
  • Don’t like directions or like reading them
  • Hates structure and currently hates 9th grade

Teaching Tips for Concrete Random Learners

As Sasha’s 9th grade math teacher, Mr. Anton has created independent study packets for Sasha to address her learning style as a concrete random learner. He provides her with computer time where she can play math games and apply math knowledge in a non-traditional way. Read on to see a summary of teaching tips for concrete random learners that teachers can use in the classroom.

Teaching Tips for Concrete Random Learners

  • Allow students opportunities and time to process their learning outcomes.
  • Use assistive technology or other modes of learning assistance to help students see other instructional methods of learning delivery.
  • Understand the concrete random style of the learner and create instruction to address their learning style.
  • Provide lesson plans that are fun and competitive (i.e. math jeopardy with math teams or science team projects)
  • Provide students with opportunities to be intuitive on some projects (i.e. provide the learning directions and see how they interpret the learning outcome).

Mr. Anton understands that what Sasha doesn’t pick up in the classroom, she picks up via the computer as she plays the math games to win which plays directly into her competitive manner of learning. So far, Mr. Anton can only speculate that Sasha is learning Algebra I given that she has a 62% average in his class. As a concrete random learner of math, Sasha is still learning how to deal with the inconsistencies of her learning style and how it plays out in her academic performance.