Most people have heard of the 4 basic learning styles: Verbal-Linguistic, Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic. For the most part we know what they are, but are we actively trying to learn more about the different ways that children and even adults learn and how to teach them in those ways?
We admit that there are many ways to teach children, and yet we get frustrated when a child doesn't learn they way that the rest of the class seems to.
So let's try to educate ourselves a little more, and stop trying to put students into neat little labeled boxes.
The most common learning style that I have witnessed is Visual Learning.
According to a blog by Karina Richland | May 2, 2018, a visual learner prefers reading information rather than hearing it. A visual learner enjoys using pictures, graphs, maps and other graphic organizers for learning.
One way to teach a visual learner is to have plenty of visual aids. Maybe a video to help explain a concept or allow them to draw. Flash cards are also very helpful for these types of learners. I myself am a very visual learner. I have to see things and write them down to be able to remember them.
The next most common learning style is Auditory Learning,
Auditory learners learn best through hearing. I remember as a kid, my brother would soak up everything my Mom would read to him, and he always listened to audiobooks. I could never focus just by listening, I would get distracted because I needed a visual. However, auditory learners are great at retaining information just through listening.
A great way to teach an auditory learner is to read assignments out loud. Allow audiobooks as an option, and have their school laptop read directions to them. This does not mean that an auditory learner should never read, but when it comes to studying or basic retention, listening is the easiest way for them to succeed.
Verbal Learning or Linguistic learners, tend to learn best through speaking and interacting with the lesson. According to an article written By Ann Logsdon on April 17, 2020, "Verbal-linguistic learning style refers to a person's ability to reason, solve problems, and learn using language." These students, much like the students who are visual, seem to do well in school. They generally do well on tests and written and spoken assignments. "They frequently choose careers such as professional writer, news correspondent, poet, creative writer, attorney, publicist, advertising agent, psychologist, speech pathologist, and editorial positions."
The Kinesthetic Learner makes up only 5% of learners.
Kinesthetic learning is simply learning by doing. This type of learner might be a little lost during a classroom lecture, but will pick up the information from doing a hands on activity after the lesson. Kinesthetic learners tend to learn skills better than concepts and are unlikely to forget what they have learned because it wasn't just memorization, they actually felt it.
According to an article by Leon Ho, https://www.lifehack.org/859348/kinesthetic-learner-characteristics, kinesthetic learners struggle because they don't fit into the formal style of learning. They usually choose career paths along the lines of music, sports, research or engineering.
Parents and teachers should be aware of how their children and students learn to make sure they are not being left behind. We might get frustrated at a child who is not sitting still while we are trying to teach them. Well, maybe it is time to get them up and moving. I get this is hard in a regular classroom and can be distracting, but at home or in small group, let them sit on an exercise ball while doing flashcards or let them write the words with their finger. There are so many simple ways to make learning more interesting.
The Logical Learner can also be called a Mathematical leaner because they generally enjoy numbers.
A few characteristics of a logical learner as mentioned in https://schoolandtravel.com/logical-learner/ May 28, 2021, are:
Good at solving puzzles and riddles
Very good gamers, especially with difficult games
Good at investigating
Can come off as being abrasive
Particular about being correct all the time
Follow the rules and processes very strictly
Logical Learners generally tend to move towards careers such as computer science, data scientist, lawyer, and investment banking. When teaching a child with this learning style, it is important to make what you're saying as logical as you can. Bullet points instead of intense notes can be helpful. Make sure that you create connections and explain to them why you are teaching what you are teaching. It could make a huge difference.
Social Learning was developed by Albert Bandura and his student in the 1950s. The definition is simply: humans learn better when they learn together. https://www.talentlms.com/blog/social-learning-in-elearning/
According to research done in this article, material that is covered through discussion and interaction is much more likely to be retained than just by hearing or reading. I think that this goes along with the idea that we learn better when we have to teach it. When we teach a lesson to a class, then break the students into small groups and have them try to explain the concept to each other and discuss it, the material tends to go deeper than just the service and more of it is remembered.
Solitary or Intrapersonal Learning is basically the opposite of social learning.
These types of learners prefer to work independently and in private. They are not the students that jump at the chance to work with a partner or in a small group. Specific strengths for these learners include being able to concentrate well and being aware of their thinking. Solitary learners tend to keep a journal or diary, they struggle in large crowds or noisy rooms and are highly independent. Obviously it is not always appropriate to allow students to work completely alone all the time, but I think that by knowing that this is what they prefer, there are little things that you can do to make the learning experience more positive. https://www.time4learning.com/learning-styles/solitary-intrapersonal.html
There are also plenty of people out there with more than one learning style! I took this learning style quiz and got exactly what I expected- Visual.
Try the quiz here! https://learningstylequiz.com/quiz/start.php
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