Explain and describe the different kinds of learning styles.

Explain and describe the different kinds of learning styles. Sources must be cited in APA format. Your response should be a minimum of two (2) double-spaced pages to a maximum of three (3) pages in length; refer to the “Assignment Format” page located on the Course Home page for specific format requirements.

Using what you’ve learned in Lessons 1 and 2, as well as Lesson 4, write a well-developed process analysis essay on one of the following topics:

 Explain and describe the different kinds of learning styles.

suggested answers

The 8 Learning Styles:

  1. The Linguistic Learner
  2. The Naturalist
  3. The Musical or Rhythmic Learner
  4. The Kinesthetic Learner
  5. The Visual or Spatial Learner
  6. The Logical or Mathematical Learner
  7. The Interpersonal Learner
  8. The Intrapersonal Learner

We all experience the world in unique ways, and with that comes variation in the ways we learn best. Understanding the differences in these types of learning styles can drastically impact the way teachers handle their students, set up group projects and rally behind individual learning. Without understanding the disparity in learning styles, teachers might end up with a handful of students lagging behind their classmates—in part because their unique learning style hasn’t been activated.

“The focus on learning styles and their role in the classroom came from Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence research,” says Edward Steinhauser, an educator at the Long Beach Unified School District. “He argued, and I agree, that individuals excel at different things, and to define intelligence as simply literacy and math skills is to inaccurately understand the strengths of the learner.”

So how do you teach a class while understanding the different learning needs of students? We compiled information on the four types of learning styles, and how teachers can practically apply this information in their classrooms.

Explain and describe the different kinds of learning styles.

4 Types of learning styles

Learning styles and preferences take on a variety of forms—and not all people fit neatly into one category as there’s plenty of overlap between styles. That being said, most learners align with the following styles:

1. Visual learners

How to recognize visual learners in your class: Someone with a preference for visual learning is partial to seeing and observing things, including pictures, diagrams, written directions and more. This is also referred to as the “spatial” learning style. Students who learn through sight understand information better when it’s presented in a visual way. These are your doodling students, your list makers and your students who take notes.

How to cater to visual learners: The whiteboard is your best friend when teaching visual learners! Teachers should create opportunities to draw pictures and diagrams on the board, or ask students to doodle examples based on the topic they’re learning. Teachers catering to visual learners should regularly make handouts and use presentations. Visual learners may also need more time to process material, as they observe the visual cues before them. So be sure to give students a little time and space to work through the information.

2. Auditory learners

How to recognize auditory learners in your class: Auditory learners tend to learn better when the subject matter is reinforced by sound. These students would much rather listen to a lecture than read written notes, and they often use their own voices to reinforce new concepts and ideas. These are the students who like to read out loud to themselves, aren’t afraid to speak up in class and are great at verbally explaining things. Additionally, they may be slower at reading and may repeat things a teacher tells them.

How to cater to auditory learners: Since these students can sometimes find it hard to keep quiet for long periods of time, get your auditory learners involved in the lecture by asking them to repeat back new concepts to you. Ask questions and let them answer. Invoke group discussions so your auditory and verbal processors can properly take in and understand the information they’re being presented with. Watching videos and using music or audiotapes are also helpful ways to engage with auditory learners.

3. Kinesthetic learners

How to recognize kinesthetic learners in your class: Kinesthetic learners or “tactile” learners learn through experiencing or doing things. They like to get right in the thick of things by acting out events or using their hands to touch and handle in order to understand concepts. These are the students who might struggle to sit still, might be good at sports or like to dance, need to take breaks when studying and might not have great handwriting.

How to cater to kinesthetic learners: The best way teachers can help these students learn is by getting them moving. Teachers should instruct students to act out a certain scene from a history lesson they’re teaching. Additionally they should encourage these students by incorporating movement into lessons: pacing to help memorize, learning games that involve moving around the classroom or having students write on the whiteboard as part of an activity.

Once these students can physically sense what they’re studying, abstract ideas and difficult concepts will be easier to understand.

4. Reading/writing learners

How to recognize reading/writing learners in your class: According to the VARK Modalities theory developed by Fleming and Mills in 1992, reading/writing learners prefer to learn through written words. While there is some overlap with visual learning, these types of learners are drawn to expression through writing, reading articles on the internet, writing in diaries, looking up words in the dictionary and searching the internet for just about everything.

How to cater to reading/writing learners: This is probably the easiest learning style to cater to since most of the educational system provides lots of opportunities for writing essays, doing research online and reading books. Allow plenty of time for these students to absorb information through the written word, and give them opportunities to get their words out on paper as well.

Explain and describe the different kinds of learning styles.

Learning strategies for life

Understanding the different learning styles doesn’t end in the classroom. By equipping students with tools in their early years, teachers are equipping them for their futures. Pinpointing how a child learns best can dramatically affect their ability to connect with the topics you’re teaching, as well as how they participate with the rest of the class. “I truly am amazed when I see how reducing a child’s anxiety related to school situations can significantly improve performance,” says Dr. Lisa Long, a licensed clinical psychologist.

Now that you have some tactics in your back pocket to accommodate different types of learning styles, you may want to learn more about classroom manage strategies. Check out our article, “10 Proven Classroom Management Tips for Preschool Teachers” to learn more about some of the tried and true approaches to keeping our littlest learners on task.

Learning is an important experience for people of all ages. Research has shown there’s a number of ways how people retain and process information. While one literature review identified 71 different learning style models, we will be focusing on the Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Based on this, there are eight types of learning styles that everyone falls into.

The more you know about these different learning styles, the more prepared you will be to help yourself (or your children) learn a new skill, idea, language, or concept—no matter the study material.

The 8 types of learning styles based on the Theory of Multiple Intelligences are:

1. Visual (Spatial)

As the name suggests, visual learners are those that learn best when they have images to help them process the information. This learning style requires the learners to first see what they’re expected to know. They may also need to map out their thoughts in order to process them better.

These are some of the most common characteristics of visual learners:

  • Have good spatial awareness and sense of direction
  • Can easily visualize objects, plans, and outcomes
  • Like coloring, drawing, and doodling
  • Have good color balance
  • Are good at using maps and rarely get lost

For example, a visual learner in a writing class may process the information better by seeing a movie clip of how a film adapts the literature it was based on, instead of listening to the book being read aloud.

You are a visual learner if: You prefer pictures, images, and mind maps to help you process information.

2. Aural (Auditory-Musical)

Aural learning is used to classify those who respond primarily to sound and speech. Unsurprisingly, many musicians are aural learners. Auditory learners generally remember what their teacher says and readily participate in class. These are also individuals who respond best to things such as binaural beats.

Aural learners:

For example, a song that helps you remember the alphabetical order of all the states is a way to tap into aural learning styles.

You are an aural learner if: You prefer learning through rhythms or tend to use clever rhymes to remember something.

3. Verbal (Linguistic)

Verbal learners learn best through the words they hear. Typically, they love both written and spoken word, excelling in both. These learners often go into public speaking, writing, journalism, and debating.

Verbal learners:

  • Tend to flourish in reading and writing activities
  • Ask questions and have an excellent verbal expression
  • Often gifted at learning new languages
  • Have a large vocabulary and enjoys learning new words
  • Dislike silence and enjoy participating in study groups

For example, reading definitions of a word aloud or writing them down a few times, are ways for verbal learners to process information.

You are a verbal learner if: You need to read content out loud to learn something or prefer to have someone explain it to you so you can process it.

4. Physical (Kinesthetic)

If you are someone who likes getting their hands dirty, then you are likely a physical learner. Physical learners are animated and they learn best by going through the motions of what they are learning.

Physical learners:

  • Have high levels of energy
  • Notice and appreciate the physical world around them, such as textures
  • Enjoy sports and exercise along with outdoor activities and working with their hands
  • Have excellent motor memory (can duplicate something after doing it once)
  • Perform well in art and drama

For example, if something is bothering you or you are trying to wrap your head around a concept, you would rather go for a run or walk than sit down and figure it out.

You are a physical learner if: You don’t learn something until you do it. You need to draw out your own diagrams or role-play to learn new information. You may also be constantly in motion and speak with your hands.

5. Logical (Mathematical)

Most logical thinkers end up being engineers, mathematicians, or pursuing the sciences. They are the individuals who want to understand the reasons behind and tend to enjoy games like chess and doing brainteasers.

Logical learners:

  • Classify and group information together to better understand it
  • Perform complex calculations
  • Create procedures for future use, after coming up with a solution to a problem
  • Plan agendas and itineraries and even rank and number them
  • Find a statistical study more appealing than analyzing literature or keeping a journal

For example, those who prefer making neat and organized lists while studying and extracting key points from the material are typically logical learners.

You are a logical learner if: You can learn something only when you understand the bigger picture, along with the logic, reasoning, and systems behind the concepts.

6. Social (Interpersonal)

As the name suggests, social learners are true people persons. They often prefer direct involvement with others in group projects. They are stimulated by dialog and may seek out feedback from instructors. However, they may not be comfortable or perform best when required to work alone or on self-paced projects.

Social learners:

  • Prefer to socialize after work or class, may want to join or form a study group outside of the classroom
  • Enjoy playing group sports or participating in activities, such as speech, drama, and debate teams
  • Bounce ideas off of others and work through issues in a group
  • Listen well and are good at resolving conflicts
  • Are often trusted by others for their advice

For example, when teachers assign group projects, it is often a way to appeal to social learners.

You are a social learner if: You prefer to work with other people and find you learn best in groups.

7. Solitary (Intrapersonal)

Solitary learners are individuals who prefer to learn on their own. They are self-motivated and highly independent. They favor a quiet environment both in their personal and academic lives.

Solitary learners:

  • Spend time on self-analysis
  • Struggle in large crowds and noisy rooms
  • Excellent self-management skills
  • Journal, write, and record personal thoughts and events as a way to improve
  • Like to set goals and make plans

For example, someone who reads self-help books to develop a deeper understanding of themselves is often a solitary learner.

You are a solitary learner if: You need to sit alone and study by yourself in order to retain information.

Explain and describe the different kinds of learning styles.

8. Naturalistic

In many ways like kinesthetic learners, a naturalistic learner is the most recent addition to Gardner’s theory. These individuals are more in tune with nature. They use elements and patterns in the natural world to create products and solve problems.

Naturalistic learners:

  • Categorize and catalog information easily
  • Enjoy exploring outdoors
  • Dislike learning unfamiliar topics with no connection to nature
  • Are interested in subjects, such as biology, botany, and zoology
  • Notice even subtle changes in their environments

For example, someone who prefers reading in a hammock or on a swing to a stuffy classroom and loves digging in the dirt is most probably a naturalistic learner.Explain and describe the different kinds of learning styles.

You are a naturalistic learner if: You like to explore nature and spend time outdoors, getting your hands dirty.

How to Apply This Knowledge in Your Learning Routine

If you know what type of learner you mostly tend to be, you can start applying this to your everyday life, even if you’re no longer in school. While you can’t always ask someone in a meeting to sing a rhythmic song for you or to take the meeting out in your backyard, you can start using these techniques in your daily life to grasp new concepts faster and with greater ease. Explain and describe the different kinds of learning styles.

There is no wrong way to learn. And even if it may seem strange to others, you need to play to your strengths when trying to learn new information, so that it would really stick. By being more aware of how it is that you learn, you may find that you develop interests you hadn’t thought of exploring before, start retaining information better, or that you finally remember new names and pick up skills faster than ever before.

What’s your learning style?

Explain and describe the different kinds of learning styles.

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Explain and describe the different kinds of learning styles.