No two students are the same. Every pupil has their own preferred method of processing, understanding, and retaining knowledge.
Although most people use a variety of learning styles depending on the subject matter, it's fair to say that most people have a dominant learning style. This go-to method is their personal fail-safe, their comfort zone, their key to unlocking new knowledge.
That's why there's no right or wrong when it comes to different learning styles. The end destination is the same. Your preferred learning style is simply how you choose to get there.
So, let's take a look at the four basic learning styles, uncover why it's important to identify a student's individual style, and discover how to identify your child's predominant learning style.
The most common learning styles
Visual learners prefer to be presented with information in a graphic form. This can be pictures, charts, symbols, or diagrams. They also prefer to take visual notes and find that drawing or doodling can help to reinforce the learning.
Auditory, or aural, learners find it easier to retain information that is presented vocally. This includes spoken word, music, and sound. As a result, they may find it beneficial to read textbooks aloud or repeat key phrases or formulas to help embed the learning.
For reading/writing learners, the preference is always words. This includes happily devouring textbooks and worksheets and taking detailed notes. To this type of learner, text-heavy resources can lead to optimum results.
Kinesthetic learners prefer a physically active approach to learning. This includes using their physical movement and senses to understand a topic. A good example of this is when working with scales and bearings. Taking actual strides and turning clockwise while pointing can make all the difference between understanding representation on paper and having no idea what the diagrams mean.
The benefits of knowing your learning style
Identifying and understanding a child's learning style is a great way to optimise their learning potential as it allows them to utilise the correct techniques to suit their individual style.
Not only will this help them to learn more quickly and retain more information, but it can help to reduce frustration and increase the enjoyment of - and confidence in - the learning process.
Plus, from a teaching point of view, it empowers you to employ the correct techniques for the individual instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.
How to discover your learning style
Whether you want to find out the best learning methods for your child or your students, get them to complete this simple questionnaire.
After answering a few quick questions, they'll discover their learning preference and receive some free tips and advice on the best learning strategies for them.