Learning comes in many different forms. Some students learn best by visualizing concepts, others through hearing the information being taught. There are students that need to get up and engage in physical activity in order to learn a new concept and others that prefer to learn by quietly reading. Since each student is unique in how they take in information and process it, it’s crucial to recognize and understand that several different learning styles exist and there is not one learning style that is better than another.
Below is a list that briefly outlines 7 different learning styles:
- Aural (Auditory): Auditory learners are those individuals who learn best by listening or hearing information through lectures, audio books, and podcasts. These types of learners have an ability to better understand new concepts spoken out loud and are able to recall that information at a later time.
- Visual: Visual learners are those who “see” concepts either through images, pictures, diagrams, shapes, colors, or demonstrations. When visual learners work, they prefer to draw out signs or symbols that represent knowledge, concepts, thoughts or ideas.
- Verbal: Verbal learners are similar to visual learners in that they learn best by “seeing”, but rather than seeing new concepts through pictures and diagrams, these individuals prefer to learn with words and numbers that are either written down or spoken out loud by a tutor or teacher. Verbal learners typically like to read and write and find it particularly easy to express their thoughts and ideas through writing.
- Physical (Kinesthetic and Tactile): Kinaesthetic learners are students that learn and process information through hand and body movement, control and expression. These individuals particularly thrive when they physically engage themselves in a lesson or activity and prefer working through the problem by physically touching it or acting it out (such as role playing or conducting a science experiment to understand the concepts better).
- Social: Also known as an interpersonal learning style, social learners love being around people and often find it easy to communicate with others. Whether it’s through verbal or non-verbal communication, these types of learners are considered strong communicators. In addition to being good communicators, social learners also make very good listeners and have the ability to understand the perspectives of others around them.
- Logical: Logical learners are those individuals that learn through order, steps, logic, analyzing, and reasoning. These learners are typically mathematically inclined and enjoy working with numbers. They also seem to effortlessly make connections and recognize patterns.
- Solitary: Solitary learners are those who prefer to learn alone. They are able to motivate themselves and often enjoy working independently as opposed to working in groups. Solitary learners are able to concentrate well and spend a lot of time self-reflecting. They can be known as “thinkers”.
As education continues to evolve, so will the different learning styles and methods of teaching. Another important point to keep in mind is that oftentimes students will not just be naturally inclined to only one specific learning style but will be more likely to have a combination of different learning styles. And that’s perfectly okay! The key is to pinpoint your natural learning strengths and adapt from there.