Thursday 25 October 2018

Exploring Different Learning Styles

*Collaborative Post*

We are all familiar with the term “everyone is different” – usually referring to our personality and appearance, everyone has their own unique quirks and identities that help others recognise us. However, were you aware we all learn in different ways too? There are several different learning styles and methods that are officially recognised and incorporating these learning methods into your education can make learning more enjoyable and memorable.  

As a parent, you might remember some different styles of learning during your own educational experiences, did you learn better when watching a film or video? Or were you someone that was better able to remember things when you were able to get hands on or physical?  

Consider your own strengths for a moment before thinking about your child, do they like to take things apart? Are they keen on identifying things visually? Do they prefer to colour or are they always singing along to the TV/radio? You can use these personal likes and interests and apply them to learning exercises in order to encourage your child to enjoy learning new things and help retain knowledge taught in that day’s lessons. 

Types of Learning 
There is a huge library of learning styles that apply to a vast array of different individuals and age groups and this guide can give you insight into the type of learner you or your child is. Whether you want to improve your child’s academic ability for home-learning or want to help them do better in school for higher education, when they come to apply to a college or prestigious institute, like an Oxbridge university 
In this example, we are going to look at 7 distinctive and recognised styles that apply to the whole population. Although each style offers a different type of learning, you or your child may learn through a number of styles that can be combined in a homework or revision session.  

Visual/Spatial Visual learners like all things pretty, whether it’s using different colours, images, pictures or other visual stimulus. Visual or spatial learners are better able to pick things up and remember them when the material is presented in a visually appealing way. Thought clouds using multiple colours, picture and mood boards, diagrams and storyboards are great ways for visual learners to absorb information. When doing homework, consider the topic and revisit the subject of today’s lesson and then ask your child to draw a story board or thought cloud of the things they remember. When going over the work, anything they’ve forgotten can be added in a brighter colour or with an image or picture, which will offer better recall in the future.  

Aural/Rhythmic An aural learner is someone that learns better when the topic is presented in a rhythmic or musical way and leans towards music and rhythm as a hobby. It might be as simple as revising or learning new material with some music on in the background or the particular learner may do better turning the material into a song or jingle. Aural learners can also teach themselves to better link material to certain sounds, for instance, a certain song might help them recall a vivid memory or a series of notes remind them of a mathematical formula or equation.  
Verbal/LinguisticVerbal leaners are wordsmiths in their own right, whether it’s spoken word or written text, a verbal learner leans towards words over images and tend to absorb themselves into reading and writing. For better recall, a verbal learner may recite passages to themselves in the mirror or record scripts for revisiting, they might also come up with their own acronyms that can help with learning tricky material such as math or science formulas.  

Physical/Kinaesthetic – A physical learner is always on the move, whether they are up on their feet pacing or tapping or in their seat fidgeting. Teachers tend to get most frustrated with physical learners as it is often misunderstood as naughtiness or defiance, when the learner just has excess energy that needs to be channelled into learning. A kinaesthetic learner does best when they can involve their whole body, for example through role-playing experiences, using physical objects and having the option to move themselves to find the correct answer. A good learning method example for a physical learner at home is to have a series of answer cards set up around the room, ask the question and encourage your child to “hunt” down the answer, they will have to get up and move around and it can encourage better recall in the future as answers are linked to different locations in their mind. 

Logical/Mathematical – Logical learners are often unsatisfied at lower levels education as the logic and “why” behind their topics are often left uncovered until later school years. A logical or mathematical learner wants to understand the system behind a topic and to understand fully why something happens. Relationships, patterns, numbers and equations are gold for a logical learner, however, fixation is more common with logical learners and at some ages, gentle deviation from the fixated topic are a must for particular trying subjects.  

Social/Interpersonal – Social learners do better in groups and encourage each other to better absorb and retain material. Sibling groups who are close in age will do well learning and teaching each other, while study groups and classroom learning are also great environments for social learners. Not only do social learners learn better in groups but the inspiration and option for co-working with others can help individuals better understand difficult topics and the group can work off each other to create revision or review material that increases recall ability.  

Solitary/Intrapersonal Solitary learners prefer to work, study and learn alone and find the company of others distracting in a learning or revision environment. Those with intrapersonal learning preferences aren’t necessarily anti-social but can seem day-dreamy at a younger age and constantly away in their own thoughts. This is not always a negative as certain solitary learners are also very visual and do better when visualising concepts in their head without the input of others.  

With the explanations above, are you better able to identify the type of learner you or your child is? Considering the different types of learning styles available, you might sit down with an older child and ask them to identify their own learning style and work with them to create better revision and homework methods for home. Alternatively, for young children and home schoolers, consider creating some fun lesson plans that can incorporate the style of learning that best works for your child and watch them enjoy education, after all - knowledge should be fun! 


**This post is a paid for guest post and was not written by me. I received a fee for this post.**

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