I have always believed that all students can learn. Despite their differences! As educators, we need to enable each child to succeed.
The way a child, or any individual for that matter, learns, depends on their genetic make-up, their upbringing, their past experiences and their physiology. The way my brain operates is probably very different from the way yours does because I have perhaps been exposed to an entirely different set of factors than you. The nerve connections that have been established in my body depend a lot on the way I use them and perhaps to some extent, on what I inherited.
How we use the brain is actually more important than what we use it for, because that is what establishes the neural connections which become a part of us forever. A lot of our decisions and actions are based on those nerve networks. The manifestation is the emergence of our abilities, strengths and talents as also our weaknesses. It leads to phrases like “a natural gift” and “not my cup of tea”.
Why this knowledge is important for teachers is because it helps them reach out to a child who has “a natural gift” for aliens by giving her experiences related to her interest – whether it be writing journal entries on that, reading fiction and non-fiction texts about it or even customizing word problems in Math to include mention about aliens.
Similarly, those who think silent reading in their chairs is “not their cup of tea” could be given a chance to fidget with a sponge ball while reading or sit around in the carpet area to read to provide for a more facile bodily movement during that time.
It’s all about opening the gates of opportunities for each child so that no matter how he learns, he is able to find a hook in those opportunities that make him a success in life.