Learning Styles

The term "learning styles" is commonly used throughout various educational fields and therefore, has many connotations. In general, it refers to the uniqueness of how each learner receives and processes new information through their senses. The National Association of Secondary School Principals defines learning style as, "the composite of characteristic cognitive, affective, and physiological factors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how a learner perceives, interacts with, and responds to the learning environment." Other phrases are used interchangeably with learning styles. Some include perceptual styles, learning modalities, and learning preferences. Each person is born with certain preferences toward particular styles, but culture, experience, and development influence these preferences. The four most common learning styles are visual, aural, reading/writing, and kinesthetic/tactile. Most people learn through all modalities, but have certain strengths and weaknesses in a specific modality. Some people have an equal propensity for more than one style, which is titled as the multimodal style. This preference can be determined through various testing instruments. Once a person's learning style is ascertained, accommodations can be made to increase academic achievement and creativity, as well as improve attitudes toward learning.

The Visual Learning Style Visual learners process information most effectively when the information is seen. Depictions can include charts, graphs, flow charts, and all the symbolic arrows,

circles. This type of learner benefits from instructors that use the blackboard to accent important points or provide outlines of the lecture material. These learners think in pictures and have vivid imaginations. His need to discuss the new improvements points to the benefits of obtaining information in an oral language format. Her suggestions focus on the use of visual aids to increase information processing. Patrick is an aural learner. The Reading/Writing Learning Style Reading/Writing learners process information most effectively when presented in a written language format. The Kinesthetic/Tactile Learning Style . His comprehensive training manual allows the employees to utilize the written language format. reading/writing learners remember the information from their "mind's eye. These learners respond well to lectures and discussions and are excellent listeners. They also like to talk and enjoy music and dramas." Many academics have a strong preference for the reading/writing style. When trying to recall information. Most people are classified as visual learners. Jessica is a visual learner. The Aural Learning Style Aural learners process information most effectively when spoken or heard. hierarchies and other devices that instructors use to represent what could have been presented in worlds. Will is a reading/writing learner. aural learners can often "hear" the way someone told them the information. When trying to recall information.

Learning Strategies for Each Learning Style The Visual Learning Style      Replace words with symbols or initials. practice. Kinesthetic learning refers to whole body movement while tactile learning refers only to the sense of touch. Her method of instruction utilizes "hands on" demonstrations and field experiences. The Aural Learning Style       Attend lectures and tutorials. Join a study group or have a "study buddy. or simulation. These learners gesture when speaking. The crux of this learning style is that the learner is connected to real situations through experience. and diagrams." Tape record your lectures. Most students that do not perform well in school are kinesthetic/tactile learners.Kinesthetic/Tactile learners process information actively through physical means. example. Claire is a kinesthetic/tactile learner. Discuss topics with your instructor and other students. symbols. and lose interest in long speeches. Practice turning your visuals back into words. Underline or highlight your notes or textbooks with different colors. . talk out loud. Put summarized notes on tape and listen to them. are poor listeners. Make flashcards of key information with words. Translate concepts into pictures and diagrams. When recalling information or solving problems.

collections. Read out loud from your textbook and notes. The Kinesthetic/Tactile Learning Style    Sit near the instructor in classroom situations. Organize any diagrams into statements. trial and error. laboratories. Rewrite the ideas and principles in other words.e. The activities planned by these teachers are more student-centered than traditional activities and have engaged in learning-style based instruction. chalkboard or easel board). Take in information through field trips. Use pictures and photographs that illustrate an idea. Educational Implications for Learning Styles Teachers that rely on learning styles have opened their classrooms to more than one approach to intellectual work. and hands-on examples. Read your notes silently. Recall experiments and role-play. .    Put real life examples into your notes summary. Copy key points onto large writing surfaces (i. exhibits.    Copy key points using word processing software.The Reading/Writing Learning Style      Write out important information again and again. Make flashcards of words and concepts that need to be memorized. Listen to audiotapes of your notes while exercising.

3. The second step is profiling group preferences and weaknesses. Easier concepts should be introduced in a different . the students can complete multidimensional packets. Many are available online. When teaching an individual. 2. Another approach to include learning styles in an education curriculum is to organize activities around complex projects. A variety of methods exist for testing learning styles in a relatively quick manner. Are most of the students visual learners? Does your class have very few kinesthetic/tactile learners? The third step is assessing current instructional methods to determine whether they are adequate or require more flexibility. Teachers can add alternative activities that could replace or supplement ones. like the VARK Questionnaire listed above. For example. This could create increased opportunities for students to use different styles. An example of a complex activity would be a project-based learning project. teachers should present the most difficult concepts in the preferred style. various activities can be developed and/or adapted to conform with learning styles. For example. which contain activities from each learning style. Three techniques have been proposed.The first step in implementing learning style-based instruction is diagnosing the individual learning styles of each student. 1. These projects would require that students use all learning styles. If modifications need to be made. hands on activities can be conducted after a lecture to confirm abstract concepts. Teachers can also challenge students to develop skills in other areas by completing assignments that utilize all learning styles.

she will have the students read sections of the book silently and out loud to others. Erwin understands that students must be exposed to the concepts in a variety of ways to ensure full comprehension. act out various scenes. teachers should use all learning styles in their presentations if they are to reach every student. For example. When teaching an entire class. This can be fairly simple. a fifth grade teacher is going to teach a unit on Charlotte's Web. .style. and complete a timeline of events on the bulletin board. Erwin. Mrs. In order to accommodate all learning styles. Mrs.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful