Different Learning Styles
There are three well known learning styles Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic… and then there are the lesser known logical or analytical learners.
Visual learners are children who learn best when they see something, for example, pictures, diagrams, films and videos or demonstrations. Visual learning is believed to be the most dominant learning style and many traditional classrooms are geared towards the visual learner. Here are some of the characteristics of visual learners:
-Remember what they see rather than what they hear.
-Remember diagrams and pictures.
-Prefer to read and write rather than listen.
-Have trouble remembering verbal instructions.
-Need an overall view and purpose before beginning a project.
-Like art more than music.
-Sometimes tune out when trying to pay attention.
It’s worth noting that telling these children how to do something may not make sense to them at all, they need to see it.
Auditory learners are more interested in learning through spoken words. They prefer to learn by listening to their teacher. Here are the characteristics of auditory learners.
-Can follow verbal instructions easily.
-They like to hear someone explain and like explaining to someone else.
-They like debating and discussing with others.
-Tend to talk to themselves while working.
-Enjoy reading aloud and like music more than art.
It’s worth noting that auditory learners might look like they’re not paying attention when you talk to them, but their listening skills are more developed than their visual skills.
Kinesthetic learning style is also referred to as ‘Physical’, or ‘Active’, or ‘Tactile’, or ‘Touchy-Feely’. These learners need to apply the information and make it their own by constructing something or practising a technique or skill. Here are the characteristics of kinaesthetic learners.
-They often take notes or even draw pictures or doodle when listening.
-They like to move around while listening or talking.
-They really like ‘hands-on’ activities and group interaction.
-They often ‘talk’ with their hands and they like to touch things to learn about them.
They remember events by recalling who did what, rather than who said what and they actually want to do whatever is being talked about or learned. It’s worth noting that these learners like to be actively involved in the learning process, and learn best through hands-on activities and movement. These types of learners can be misdiagnosed as ADHD or troublemakers because the more tradition visual or auditory learning styles just don’t work for them.
Is there a fourth style?
While the above three are the major styles discussed, some experts talk about logical or analytical learners.
These children learn through exploring patterns and understanding how things relate to each other. These learners love knowing how things work, are capable of quite logical thinking at a very young age, ask a lot of questions so they can understand how things interrelate, show an early aptitude at solving mathematical problems and can grasp strategy games at a young age.
The above checklists can help you work out which style you and your child/children respond best to.
There are also quite a few online tests you can do simply by ticking a few boxes – but these are more fun than scientific. I’ll send you a few links to online tests – just fill in the box on the side and have some fun learning which learning style you or your child has.
If your child has had special education at school or had a remedial tutor and continues to struggle, there is help and hope. Don’t wait for your child to struggle for another year.