Learning styles among students will vary.





An introduction to individual learning styles.



Since different people learn best in different ways, the educator must vary his or her teaching techniques to the individual student.








Introduction to Learning Styles

Learning Style - A pattern of behavior that humans use for new learning.

Every person is unique.

Dimensions of Learning Styles

Perceptual -- Pertains to how students prefer to perceive information.


1. Visual Learners -- Learn best when they can take in new information through their eyes.
- Like demonstrations
- Find it easy to learn through descriptions, models, maps and other visual aids
- Often use lists to organize thoughts
- Recognize words by sight
- Obtain vivid imaginations
- Remember faces of people, not names


2. Auditory Learners -- Learn best when they hear information through their ears and speak with their voices.
- Enjoy discussions and music activities
- Can remember what they hear through verbal repetition
- Easily remember verbal instructions without writing them down
- Find it difficult to learn by watching
- Find it difficult to work quietly for extended periods of time

3. Kinesthetic Learners -- Learn best through demonstration or hands-on experiences
- Often do best when they are involved or active
- Have high levels of energy, therefore learn best while moving
- Would rather do than watch or listen
- Find it hard to retain information given during an auditory or visual demonstrated lesson
- Become physically involved in the subject being studied


Processing -- Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences,
hypothesizes that human beings are capable of seven independent
means of information processing.

1. Plays with Words -- Some people love language, therefore, like to tell, read and write stories. This type of learner is good at remembering facts.

2. Plays with Questions -- Students like to figure things out by asking questions, exploring, and doing experiments. These learners are usually good at problem solving and analyzing.

3. Plays with Pictures -- This person enjoys drawing, designing, and looking at pictures. Likes viewing videos, films, and other visual aids.

4. Plays with Music -- This learner associates information through music. They love to listen to music.

5. Plays with Moving -- Learning here has a kinetic component. These learners process information through the body while expressing ideas.

6. Plays with Socializing -- This learner likes to be with groups of people. They share ideas and cooperate well with others.

7. Plays Alone -- This person does better alone and does things at their own pace.



Combining Perceiving and Processing -- David Kolb's model

Four Dimensions
1. Concrete experience -- individuals learn from specific experience

2. Reflective observation -- deals with watching others or developing observations about your own experience

3. Abstract conceptualization -- creating theories to explain observations

4. Active experimentation -- use theories to solve problems and you have the ability to get things done

Four Quadrants
1. Type I -- Generally hands-on learners. They enjoy learning to real life situations.

2. Type II -- Like to watch rather than do. These learners use their creative imagination.

3. Type III -- Like to solve problems. Tend to shy away from social issues.

4. Type IV -- Are logical learners and would rather deal with abstract ideas and concepts than people issues.

Kolb's Model of Learning Behavior


E.D. Hirsch's View: Teachers need to vary their teaching styles, one size does not fit all.

"Effective teachers have always taught through a diversity of approaches, both in order to avoid boring students through obvious repetition and in hope that different approaches will stick with different students."


Personal View: In support of Hirsch's idea that educators should teach through a variety of methods to ensure that the material presented in class is perceived and processed by all students. A key to successful learning is that teachers and students must recognize that all people have learning strengths and weaknesses and must teach and understand curriculum in a way that targets all individuals and their learning styles.

PBL -- Problem-Based Learning: An Educational Reform:
PBL is a powerful educational reform model where learners are
involved in an active, collaborative learning process that focuses on
the challenges of real life situations.

This model focuses on each individual student, therefore, the various learning styles that people have need to be understood and focused on in order to relate the information.



Different people learn best in different ways.

Educators need to focus their instruction based on individual
differences in learning styles.






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