Matching Work Environments to Individual Strengths

I can't really say that I have current experience in the adult education field with matching work environments to individual strengths as I've only been working in such an environment for less than six month. I would imagine that matching individuals with work environments that play up their strengths and limit their involvement in areas in which they experience difficulties would guarantee a certain level of success.


In a class setting where several students are stronger in verbal expression than written, problem-solving activities conducted in a group rather than as an individual assignment seem to stimulate greater interest and higher effort levels among those students. Their reasoning and problem-solving skills are markedly higher when working in a group to solve a problem rather than trying to articulate it in writing. So finding ways to better integrate writing with group work is a priority now.

William - I just responded to another post of yours, highlighting the same idea of using group learning to support instruction.  You mention, "finding ways to better integrate writing with group work is a priority now."  I agree this is a less talked about approach to using group work than reading or math problem-solving.  One suggestion for the two men you talked about in your other post is having them write out the steps they take to solve a specific type of math problem.  As math is a strength for them, they can start by verbally explaining the steps they use to solve the problem.  Next, you might try giving them a cloze writing activity based on the steps they took to solve the problem.  You can use a word bank to help them fill in the missing words.  As an extension, you could have them create cloze writings based on a math problem that peers are struggling to solve.  Giving them this practice with writing, while also acknowledging their math problem solving strengths, might be a powerful motivator for this pair. 

I'll be curious to hear what you try with them, and what other approaches you take to better integrate writing activities with group work.


Mike Cruse

Disabilities and Equitable Outcomes Moderator 

I do not have experience with matching individuals with jobs based on their learning abilities. However, I feel that someone who has difficulty in math would not be successful in a cashier position or other position where math would need to be used frequently. Someone who has difficulty with reading or reading comprehension would not be successful in a job that would require them to be proficient in reading or reading comprehension in order to perform their job successfully.