Each child is unique, not only capable of learning but also capable of succeeding.” ~Robert John Meehan.
We are all the same but gifted with different abilities. If we explore these innate qualities right at a young age, it will result in selecting the right career in the long run. The knowledge of the ‘Different Learning Styles’ is very essential for every educator so that she can help students individually.
The learning styles can be defined, classified, and identified in very different ways. Generally, there are overall patterns that provide direction for learning and teaching. Learning style can also be described as a set of factors, behaviors, and attitudes that facilitate learning for an individual in a given situation.
The top four ‘VARK’ learning styles are the four modalities of student learning that were described in a 1992 study by Neil D. Fleming and Coleen E. Mills. These different learning styles—visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic—were identified after thousands of hours of classroom observations. It helps to cater to students with different abilities and how to know one’s learning style.
Know your students
Every student is different. Students have different learning styles. Some students retain information easily when it is presented to them via a format or method that may confound one of their classmates. Some prefer studying alone, while some prefer to be in groups and have group discussions. So, let’s understand and discuss different learning. There can be divided into four parts.
Students who best internalize and synthesize information when it is presented to them in a graphic depiction of meaningful symbols are described as visual learners. Visual learners tend to be holistic learners. They learn by reading or seeing pictures, and understanding and remembering things by sight. They can picture what they are learning in their head, and learn best by using methods that are primarily visual. They prefer the content to be presented with summarizing charts and diagrams rather than sequential slides of information. These ways of learning are based on watching a video, charts, arrows, diagrams, and other visualizations of information hierarchy, but not necessarily on photographs or videos.
Auditory (or aural) learners are most successful when they are allowed to hear information presented to them vocally. They learn by hearing and listening and understand and remember things when they have heard. They store information by the way it sounds and have an easier understanding of spoken instructions than written ones. They learn best when they listen. Because students with this learning style may sometimes opt not to take notes during class to maintain their unbroken auditory attention. Educators can erroneously conclude that they are less engaged than their classmates. However, these students may simply have decided that note-taking is a distraction and that their unbroken attention is a more valuable way for them to learn. Auditory learning is a two-way street: They often find success in group activities where they are asked to discuss course materials vocally with their classmates, and they may benefit from reading their written work aloud to themselves to help them think it through.
These ways of learning are based on cooperative learning and group discussions.
They demonstrate a strong learning preference for reading and writing information. This includes both written information presented in class in the form of handouts and PowerPoint slide presentations, as well as the opportunity to synthesize course content after written assignments. They prefer to learn information by reading notes, handouts, and textbooks. These learners make use of dictionaries and other reference materials. They also benefit by rewriting notes and rereading notes silently again and again. This modality also lends itself to conducting research online, as many information-rich sources on the internet are relatively text-heavy. This includes both written information presented in class in the form of handouts and PowerPoint slide presentations, as well as the opportunity to synthesize course content after written assignments.
The ways of learning are taking notes, researching, reading, and reading/writing-oriented.
They are hands-on, participatory learners who need to take a physically active role. They are sometimes referred to as “tactile learners,” but this can be a bit of a misnomer; rather than simply utilizing touch, kinesthetic learners tend to engage all of their senses equally in the process of learning. They use body movement and interact with their environments when learning. To better understand something, they need to touch or feel it; hence practical information is usually preferred over theoretical concepts. A kinesthetic learning experience can be that of learning how to skate. They often thrive in scientific subjects with lab components, as the skills-based, instructional training engages them in productive ways. Ways of Learning: Through Flash Cards, Hands-on Activities.
To help educators develop strategies for reaching every student in their classroom effectively, educational scholars have devised various typologies of different styles of learning. They include visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, sequential, simultaneous, reflective/logical, verbal, interactive, direct experience, indirect experience, and rhythmic/melodic.
Finally, “Learning never exhausts the mind.” “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” “Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” “The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.”
Dynamic educators keep on exploring different learning styles. Educators need to understand the differences in their student’s learning styles so that they can implement best practice strategies into their daily activities and assessments. Determining students’ learning styles provides information about their specific preferences. Understanding learning styles can make it easier to create, modify, and develop more efficient curricula and educational programs. Learning styles can encourage students to reflect on their preferred ways of learning, giving them more ownership and control over their learning. Learning styles are a reminder that all students are different. And lastly, they can make teaching more enjoyable, and expand teachers’ professional skills.
I have explored my top three learning styles. Have you?
Author – Kajal Chhatija, Founder Director, United International School and Founder, EduDrone – WE CONNECT