learning styles

What Are the Three Main Learning Styles?

The concept of learning styles suggests that individuals have different preferences for how they best acquire and process information. While there are various models and theories about learning styles, one of the most widely recognised categorisations includes three main learning styles. It’s important for teachers, and parents, to understand these three learning styles and identify which one is most applicable to each of their children so that they are in a better position to support their learning

Visual Learners:

Visual learners prefer to learn through visual aids and information presented in a graphical or spatial format. In other words, they rely on images, diagrams, charts, and videos to understand and remember information rather than having it explained verbally.

What’s more, visual learners often benefit from colour-coding, mind maps, and other visual tools to organise information. They may have a strong spatial sense and can easily visualise concepts. If this sounds familiar and you think your child might be a visual learner, make sure you have plenty of coloured pens, paper, and other stationery that your child can use when studying. 

Auditory Learners:

Auditory learners learn best through listening and verbal communication. They grasp information more effectively through lectures, discussions, and verbal instructions. They tend to benefit from reading aloud, participating in group discussions, and recording notes or lectures to listen to later.

Auditory learners often have a strong ability to remember spoken information and they may prefer to listen to podcasts over reading. 

Kinaesthetic (or Tactile) Learners:

Kinaesthetic learners are hands-on learners who prefer physical experiences and interactions to understand and retain information. They learn through active participation, movement, and sensory experiences. Activities such as experiments, role-playing, and hands-on projects are beneficial for them.

Kinaesthetic learners often have a strong sense of body awareness and may find it challenging to sit still for extended periods. As you can imagine, kinaesthetic learners are typically drawn to school subjects such as PE, Art, Drama, or Science which are more practical. 

The Bottom Line

It’s important to note that many people may exhibit a combination of these learning styles, and their preferences can change depending on the subject matter and context. Additionally, the concept of learning styles has been a topic of debate among educators and researchers, with some arguing that there is limited empirical evidence to support the idea that tailoring instruction to a person’s preferred learning style significantly improves learning outcomes. Nonetheless, understanding these styles can be a useful starting point for educators, learners, and parents, to explore various teaching and study strategies.

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