We all have unique ways of experiencing the world, which translates to variations in the ways we learn best. As educators, it’s essential to understand these different Types of Learning Styles to cater to each student’s strengths and ensure they grasp the information fully. Failing to recognize and acknowledge these different ways of learning might result in some students lagging behind their peers because their unique learning style hasn’t been activated.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the four types of learning styles and how teachers can practically apply this information in their classrooms.
The Four Types of Learning Styles
Learning styles and preferences come in various forms, and not all students fit neatly into one category. However, here are the most common types of learners:
Visual learners prefer seeing and observing things, including pictures, diagrams, written directions, and more. They understand information better when it’s presented in a visual way. These students are often seen doodling, taking notes, and making lists.
To cater to visual learners, teachers can use whiteboards or smartboards to allow students to draw pictures and diagrams. Teachers should also regularly make handouts and use presentations. Visual learners may also need more time to process material, so teachers should give them space to absorb the information.
Auditory Learners Learning Style
Auditory learners learn better when the subject matter is reinforced by sound. These students would much rather listen to a lecture than read written notes. They often use their own voices to reinforce new concepts and ideas. Auditory learners prefer reading out loud to themselves, and they are great at verbally explaining things. They may be slower at reading and may often repeat things a teacher tells them.
To cater to auditory learners, teachers can involve them in the lecture by asking them to repeat new concepts back to the teacher. Teachers should also ask questions and encourage group discussions to allow these learners to properly take in and understand the information presented to them. Watching videos and using music or audiotapes are also helpful ways of learning for this group.
Kinesthetic Learners Learning Style
Kinesthetic learners, also known as tactile learners, learn through experiencing or doing things. They like to get involved by acting out events or using their hands to touch and handle concepts to understand them better. Kinesthetic learners might struggle to sit still and often excel at sports or dancing. They may need to take more frequent breaks when studying.
To cater to kinesthetic learners, the best way is to get them moving. Teachers should also encourage movement in their lessons, such as pacing to help memorize. Learning games that involve moving around the classroom, or having students write on the whiteboard as part of an activity.
Reading/Writing Learners Learning Style
Reading/writing learners prefer to learn through written words. These types of learners are drawn to expression through writing, reading articles or books, writing in diaries, looking up words in the dictionary, and searching the internet for just about everything. According to the VARK Modalities theory developed by Fleming and Mills in 1992, these learners prefer to learn through written words.
To cater to reading/writing learners, teachers can allow plenty of time for these students to absorb information through the written word. They should also give them opportunities to get their ideas out on paper, such as writing essays, doing research, and reading books.
Embracing All Types of Learning
It’s important to remember that the impact of learning styles goes beyond the classroom. By providing students with the necessary tools to identify their preferred learning style early on, educators are empowering them for future success. When a child is able to understand how they learn best, it can significantly enhance their ability to engage with the material being taught and participate effectively with their peers.