Search billions of records on


From the Green Valley News, Sunday 27 November 2011, page C2

Genealogy Today, by Betty Lou Malesky, CG

Learning to be a Better Family Researcher

Education experts, one of which I am not, have done all sorts of studies on how people learn. Different approaches work differently with different age groups. Since most of my readers are mature adults, this is the group this column will address.

It all boils down to three methods: Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic. We all utilize all three methods to some extent and generally learn the most when at least two styles are combined. Roughly 65% of adults favor visual learning, 30% auditory learning with the remaining 5% kinesthetic learners. So what does that mean to a family researcher?

Visual Learners need to see the material they are learning. The instructor uses visual aids to enhance the learning experience, such as a black or white board, handouts or a syllabus, and frequently today a Power Point presentation. The slides are not meant to be a script for the teacher but a tool for the student to help remember and reinforce the points being made.

Some colleges and universities allow students to attend classes via television today instead of on campus as it's recognized as an effective medium for instruction. Visual learners are likely to learn more than others by themselves, perhaps reading self-help books, instructional manuals, and text books outside of the traditional classroom.

Auditory Learners are best informed by hearing the material being taught. They pick up ideas and concepts via voice inflection, tone, and discussion. Teachers need to use humor, anecdotes, examples, and questions to which the class can respond to best reach this group. This group could profit from listening to educational tapes while driving. A combination of Visual and Auditory learning is the most effective for maximum retention in adult students.

Kinesthetic Learners are the hardest group to satisfy. They need a "hands on" learning situation: Field trips, workshops, individual assignments, and inter-active computer labs will best reach them. They learn best when moving or being physically involved, not just confined to a chair.

No matter what style of learning you favor, the next Green Valley Genealogical Society workshop and seminar will have something for you. The Speaker is Dr. Thomas W. Jones, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS. Dr. Jones is a full time genealogical researcher, writer, editor, and educator. He is co-editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and is a trustee on the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

On Friday, February 17, 2012 he will present an inter-active morning workshop at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 17699 S Camino de las Quintas, Sahuarita for intermediate and advanced level genealogists. Topics are "Correlating Sources, Information and Evidence to Solve Genealogical Problems" and "Resolving Conflicting Evidence."

On Saturday, February 18 he will do an all-day seminar open to the public at Desert Hills Recreation Center Auditorium, 2980 S Camino del Sol, Green Valley. Topics will be "Five Ways to Prove Who Your Ancestor Was (Some Reliable and Others Not Reliable)", "Finding Unfindable Ancestors", "How to Avoid Being Duped by the Internet", and "Solving the Mystery of the Disappearing Ancestor."

Dr. Jones is a professor emeritus at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., known for meaty lectures benefiting genealogists of all experience levels. He also teaches courses at Samford University's Institute on Genealogy and Historical Research, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and at Boston University. For full details about the workshop and seminar and a downloadable registration form see the society's website at

Home Page
418 visitors since
28 November 2011
Valid XHTML 1.0