The 7 Learning Styles: What’s your Learning Style?
Compared to the age old traditional educational framework, there is a varied range of learning styles which are in fact more appropriate for students. Schools are usually seen to adopt a linguistic or logical learning style, but studies have proved that there are other learning styles which are more effective for some learners.
Whenever employees are not performing as well as they can, it is an indication that they need to be taught in a different manner. You must understand that diversity not only focuses around qualities, faith and beliefs, but it determines how you can teach new skills in a more effective manner.
There is a difference in the way some learn from others. For instance, some individuals learn with the help of movements and hands on activities, while others may need some visual stimuli to understand a concept in a much better way. The trait of a successful teacher is one who not only believes in imparting knowledge and encouraging learning, but is a person who is capable enough to identify the learning style of students and can customize it as required.
What are Learning Styles?
The concept of personalized learning styles dates back to the 1970’s and it has been influencing education ever since. One of the common and widely adopted frameworks today is Neil Fleming’s VARK model. His learning styles are broadly categorized into VARK which stands for visual, auditory, reading and writing, and kinesthetic.
Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory known as the seven learning styles is an expanded form of Fleming’s model. Let’s take a closer look at the seven learning styles propounded by Gardner and Fleming’s VARK.
- Visual (Spatial) – Are you fond of constantly doodling? If your answer is “yes”, it suggests that you are an individual who finds it easier to comprehend something if it is explained via a diagram, then you are probably a visual learner. In order to express and impart knowledge, concepts, thoughts, and the relationship between them, use visual symbols in the form of knowledge or concept maps. These two tools are considered to be quite apt for spatial or visual learners as you can establish connections or group ideas using colour codes. If you present information spatially and with the aid of images, students are able to comprehend, reorganize, and group similar ideas with ease and they are able to utilize their visual memory to learn effective. It is a common observation that visual learners are seen to pursue careers such as engineering, architecture, design, or project management to name a few.
- Aural (Auditory-Musical) – If you a type of learner who needs someone to read out to you loudly in order to comprehend better, then you fall under the category of an auditory learner. Instead of reading the book by yourself, you would rather prefer to hear someone read out to you, because that is how you register and comprehend better. For such individuals, group discussions are a great way to impart knowledge and help them to grasp new ideas faster. Auditory learners possess the innate skill to catch changes in tone and intonation faster as compared to other learners. For instance, if an auditory learner needs to memorize a cell number, he or she will say it out loud first and then make a mental note of how it sounded in order to remember it better. Auditory learners usually pursue careers such as recording engineer, musician, language teacher, or speech pathologist.
- Verbal (Linguistic) – Individuals who find it easier to express themselves via the medium of writing or articulating are considered to be verbal learners. Such learners are fond of reading and writing. They love to play with the meaning or sound of words and are good at tongue twisters, rhymes and the like. They love to familiarize themselves with words and they constantly make an effort to learn new vocabulary. Some of the techniques used by verbal learners include scripting, mnemonics, writing and speaking, and even role playing. Verbal learners usually pursue careers in administration, public speaking, journalism, writing, and politics.
- Physical (Kinesthetic) – Kinesthetic learners find it easier to learn when the learning takes place in the form of physical activity as opposed to watching a demonstration or listening to a lecture. Kinesthetic learners are known as ‘doers’ as they prefer hands on learning. Such type of learners forms around five percent of the learning population. Kinesthetic learners usually pursue careers in physical education, emergency services, safety representatives, or entertainment such as dancing or acting.
- Logical (Mathematical) – These types of learners are seen to utilize their brains to solve logical and mathematical reasoning. They are quite good at recognizing patterns and are able to connect concepts which seem meaningless with ease. Logical learners have a leaning towards classifying and grouping information, as it helps them to further analyze and comprehend better. They are genius with numbers are very good at solving complex calculations in a jiffy. Logical learners usually pursue careers in accountancy, research, computer programming, and bookkeeping.
- Social (Interpersonal) – These type of learners are usually the best in terms of socializing and interacting with people either verbally or non-verbally. You will often seem people flocking to them seeking for advice and listening to what they have to say. People do so, because they find these types of individuals to be relatively sensitive towards the feelings, moods, and motivations of others. These types of learners are good at listening well and empathizing with the thoughts and feelings of others. Social learners usually pursue careers in teaching, counselling, coaching, training, politics, sales, and human resources.
- Solitary (Interpersonal) – These types of learners are more private, introspective, and independent by nature. They are able to concentrate much better when they focus their thoughts and feelings without any kind of distraction from others. Researchers and authors usually have a robust solitary learning mechanism. Many of the top performers who have a good grounding are seen to perform exceeding well in a wide range of fields. Since they are able to learn in an introspective manner, it works well with the other more dominant styles of learning discussed above.