Different Learning Styles

Different Learning Styles

Each person learns differently. Some people learn things effectively by reading, while others learn by observing, and some others by listening.
Taking statistics into consideration, today's teachers need to learn new ways of helping their students learn to become life-long learners. If students haven't gained the art of learning, then they are not going to be able to choose a suitable career path, or be trained effectively within their respective fields.

What is Learning?

Each and every one of us receives new information on a daily basis. Understanding this information and processing it will take us a long way towards become life-long learners. Each and every person is different from the other. Each of us perceives the world in a different way. These perceptions of ours shape up what we think, how we make our decisions, how we prioritize things and so on. What's more, our individual perceptions also help define our natural styles and strengths of learning.

So, since all of us are not alike, then when we approach a certain situation or a learning task, none of us are likely to benefit from the same approach. Each and every individual will have his or her own set of unique learning strengths as well as weaknesses. So, it is very important for teachers to use a variety of methods to reach out to their students.

The Learning Styles

Most schools follow a certain way and don't encourage the students to lean in their own unique ways. There are many ways to learn, however, the most important methods viz., perceptual modalities, personality patterns, and information processing are discussed here.
  • Perceptual Modalities: It is all about defining our biological reactions to our surroundings and the way in which we process information. This learning style helps us learn what our perception style is and we can then seek out information and process it in the way we perceive it. Teachers should focus on using these techniques in order to reach out to all the students.
  • Personality Patterns: It focuses on emotions, values, and attention. Studying the difference between them will allow us to predict the way we will think, feel, and react to different situations.
  • Information Processing: It distinguishes between the way we think, sense, remember information, and solve problems. Each and every one of us has a distinct way of perceiving, processing, organizing, and retaining different information.
Perceptual Modality

There are different learning styles like auditory, kinesthetic, visual, and tactile. In addition, there are seven categories of learning for humans, viz., the verbal-linguistic types (sensitive to the order and meaning of words), the musical type (sensitive to melody, tone, pitch, and rhythm), the logical-mathematical type (processes information by reasoning and recognizing orders and patterns), the spatial type (perceives the world realistically and then tries to transform and re-create certain aspects of the world), the bodily- kinesthetic type (handles objects skillfully and uses the body skillfully), the interpersonal type (understands relationships and people), and lastly, the intrapersonal type ( tries to enter into another persons emotional life in order to understand the person).

Everyone relies on all or a combination of these modes to process information and learn at an unconscious level. We learn through our senses, but tend to favor one over the rest. Thus, we can safely say that we learn by sight (visually), sound (auditorally), by moving (kinesthetically), and by touch (tactilly).
  • Visual Learners: They tend to learn better by seeing things. Images and pictures will help them understand ideas and information better than long explanations. A drawing will probably help them more than a discussion on the same topic. A visual learner will always create a mental image in his or her mind.
  • Auditory Learners: There are two categories of auditory readers ― the listeners and the speakers. They learn faster through spoken messages. Some auditory learners need to hear their own voices in order to understand the information. The listeners are the types that will always do well in school. They tend to remember things that were said to them and then make up their own information. They also carry mental images of dialogs, which in turn help them to remember much of what they learned.
  • Kinesthetic and Tactile Learners: Kinesthetic types will always sense the movement and position of what they are working on. Tactile learners on the other hand prefer to learn by touch. They learn increasingly fast through practical work in labs and in classrooms. They don't generally do well in traditional schools because such schools don't provide them with right opportunities to do practical work. Both these types perceive information through the nerve endings in the skin and also through muscles, joints, and tendons.
Educators and teachers all over the world need to get together and design programs and courses that address all the learning methods. Instead of using the same traditional, old-school way of teaching, it would be more appropriate to present information to students as they would best learn.