Different Learning Styles and Learning Preferences

We all view the world differently in our own unique ways, which is something that is extremely fascinating about people. Everyone has a different adaptation and perspective towards their surroundings and this results in every individual using different techniques to grasp all the knowledge that is being provided to them, which is what is defined as the individual’s learning style. Understanding these different types of learning styles can significantly impact the way teachers impart knowledge to their students, and it assists them to adapt to every individual’s learning. Without understanding and acknowledging these different ways of learning, teachers might not be able to understand the aptitude and requirements of his/her students which could result in a few students lagging behind their classmates because their unique learning style hasn’t been implemented. The teaching style must be personalised as per the needs of the students, in order to get maximum benefit from the process of learning. The best teachers can cater to each student’s strengths, ensuring they are truly grasping the information.

So, what are the different types of learning styles? We will outline the four types of learning styles and how teachers can cater to these learners and apply this information in their classrooms.

  1. Visual Learners: This category of learners is referred to as “spatial” learners. They understand information better by observing things which include diagrams, flow charts, pictures and many other examples. Teachers must employ the whiteboard/smartboard option for these students and give students the opportunities themselves to draw diagrams on the board, which makes the understanding better and the learning more interactive. Teachers can also provide handouts that include diagrams and flow charts and make presentations frequently, so such students can take their own time to absorb the information at their own pace.
  2. Auditory Learners: This category of learners would rather listen to lectures closely and absorb the information rather than using handwritten notes. Often, these students use their own voice to reinforce and revise concepts. The teachers must involve such students actively in their lectures by actively asking them questions about the concepts since keeping them quiet does not complement with the preferred style of learning. Using videos and having regular group discussions during lectures will be ideal for these students to grasp the concepts with maximum understanding.
  3. Kinaesthetic Learners: Also known as tactile learners, this category of learners learn the best by practical experiencing the content that is being taught. These learners like to get completely involved in what they are learning and they generally “act out” what is being learnt. The best strategy that teachers can use is to ask the students to act out a scene from the concepts they were taught or to include more practical classes in the timetable for the subjects being taught. Once these learners can physically sense what they are learning, even abstract concepts which are more difficult to understand, are not a challenge to grasp anymore.
  4. Reading/Writing Learners: These learners prefer to learn by written words. These students thrive on expression through books, articles or any other forms of written material available on the internet as well. For teachers, this is one of the easiest categories of learners to cater to as compared to the other three since it mainly employs the traditional system of education. Teachers should be mindful of the fact to provide the students a reasonable amount of time to study, understand and relate to the information that is being provided.

Understanding these different learning styles is not just limited to the classroom. By preparing the students with tools and catering to their individual needs in their early years, teachers are empowering them for their futures. Identifying how a student learns best can polish their ability to connect with the topics that are being taught, as well as it teaches them how to participate with the rest of the class.


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Also published on Medium.

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