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What Are Learning Styles?

Infographics help visual learners interpret data.
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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 30 July 2014
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Learning styles refer to the different ways that different people are best able to learn new information. The idea of different learning styles has come from extensive psychological research, determining how people receive new information, code that information mentally for storage, and then recall that stored information at a later time. While traditional forms of education have only focused on one or two different learning styles, newer approaches to education have introduced a greater focus on utilizing multiple learning styles to ensure that different students can learn as effectively as possible.

Though different schools of thought may consider different learning styles, there are five general styles, with two other social styles, that people commonly fall into. The five major styles are visual, aural, verbal, physical, and logical. Along with these five styles, there are also social and solitary learning styles as well. These are not necessarily mutually exclusive styles, and people commonly learn in multiple ways within these different styles.

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Visual, or spatial, learning refers to people who learn most effectively through what they can see. People who are visual learners often prefer to be toward the front of a classroom so their view is unobstructed, and seeing the facial expressions and body language of a teacher can also be important to their learning. Visual learners also typically benefit a great deal from visual aids such as graphs, charts, pictures, and diagrams. Aural, or auditory-musical, learners are best able to learn through hearing material. These types of learners benefit from oral lectures and often read aloud to themselves when covering material in a textbook.

Verbal, or linguistic, learners typically learn best through language, both through listening and reading. These types of learners benefit a great deal from language and often excel in classes where language is stressed, such as English and reading. Physical, or kinesthetic, learners often learn best through doing things physically. These types of learners may do well in science classes with a great deal of lab work, or in sports and other physical activities. Physical learners also tend to learn well while moving, and little movements such as tapping a pencil, tapping their toes, or shifting in their seat can sometimes enhance their learning.

Logical, or mathematical, learners tend to learn through logical understanding of how things work and relate. These types of learners often make lists and tend to excel at math and science; in other subjects they may often ask how things are connected or relate to each other. Social learners learn well in groups, either in full class or small group discussions. Solitary learners tend to learn best through self-study or by working alone. The use of multiple teaching techniques and approaches that take advantage of the various learning styles can be important for a teacher to effectively reach all the students in a classroom and help them learn the material.

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BrickBack
Post 3

Cafe41 - I agree. That is how I learned to read. I just wanted to say that I am a visual learner. All of the learning styles assessments that I have ever taken tell me so. I need to see the directions in front of me and be able to read it in order to process the information.

When someone gives me verbal directions for example, I always find myself writing them down so that I can remember the steps.

I also agree with the writer that sitting up front is beneficial for a visual learner. I try to sit in the front row of a lecture so that I can truly understand what is being discussed.

I prefer when teachers show graphs and charts rather than offer the statistical information verbally because once I see the information it is cemented in my brain.

If I hear the information with no visual aids, I will have to hear the information several times before I will remember it.

cafe41
Post 2

Mutsy - I do remember working with Playdoh when I was little. I also have to add that there is a great degree of playing and acting out stories in order to enhance the child’s comprehension in preschool.

Children are encouraged to recreate stories and try to predict the conclusion of the book. Auditory skills are also sharpened by the development of following directions.

This will be continually reinforced until the child becomes accustomed to hearing the instructions. While there are different learning styles a good school will offer of variety of instructional stimulation that will allow most children to thrive educationally.

For example, they will also hear a lot of nursery rhythms and a lot of stories with alliteration in order to distinguish between the various phonetic sounds.

Learning to read is important in preschool and auditory discrimination between the various phonetic sounds is important for the child to eventually understand the connection that written words have sound and meaning.

This is why Dr. Seuss is used a lot because his books provide a lot of repetitive rhyming text that helps to reinforce phonics lessons.

These books are also very entertaining to children because they like the rhyming text and learn to distinguish between various sounds very quickly.

mutsy
Post 1

I just wanted to say that many preschools use a variety of things to develop the different student learning styles. They will always have a lot of visual aids in appealing primary colors as well as tactile stations where children can explore textures.

Teachers usually have stations that will have sand or rice along with other things that have distinct textures so that the child can distinguish it from other things and learn about the properties of the item.

They may also introduce the concept of something being cold by having the child touch an ice cube. These experiences will imprint the knowledge in the child’s brain and they will never forget it.

This is why many preschools have a sandbox so that children can play and develop experiences with different textures that help promote fine motor skills.

They also play with modeling clay so that they can develop their hand muscles in order to be able to write well.

The experience with clay also allows the child to express his creativity by physically molding the shape and creating what they want with it.

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