Understanding the 3 Main Learning Styles

When it comes to learning life, we all have our own particular learning styles. These help us to absorb information in a way that allows us to achieve our goals. There are many learning styles that can be catered to, but there are 3 main styles that allow us to develop our skills in an engaging way.

These 3 learning styles are: visual, auditory and kinesthetic – of which cater to our particular areas of learning. Identifying which features reside in our child helps them get through their studies in a more manageable way. Here is a guide to understanding these learning types.

1. Visual Learning Style

Visual learners develop their skills through “seeing”, which involves a number of methods to help children absorb information in the right way:

  • Drawing out mind maps and flowcharts
  • Using flashcards for revision
  • Colour coding important information in books or blocks of text
  • Writing down notes and reading back on them

There are also other ways your child can pick up on visual learning, like watching TV and retaining the information through images, drawing and having lots of worksheets to refer to at different times.

This learning style can be seen in children if they prefer to be quiet in the classroom. They prefer to be presented with the information rather than being talked to, so if you are a teacher you will see these students writing down a lot of notes to refer back to later. Visual learners also tend to lean towards (but not always) art and design-based subjects, maths and science.

Definitely not limited to these areas, students in a classroom might benefit from an infographic instead of listening to the teacher each time. While visual colours and a child’s organisation skills tend to be better in visual learners, they can struggle in an environment that doesn’t cater to their particular needs.

2. Auditory Learning

Learning in an auditory setting relies on students picking up spoken cues, listening intently to teachers and others, as well as other listening exercises to remind them of what is being asked of them. Training videos, podcasts and audiobooks work well in a child’s favour as they are all based on you listening in and remembering what is being said.

Other learning examples include:

  • Storytelling and dictation exercises
  • Repeating back what has been asked of them
  • Paying attention for long periods of time in a lecture or study session

The main drawback of this learning style for students would be that they can get easily distracted and it can become a problem if they are unable to retain that information later on. Environments where they can’t contribute to the conversation can mean important information is missed and it can become an issue when it comes to remembering things later on. Open communication is key for auditory learners.

3. Kinesthetic Learning

A more practical and interactive approach to learning, kinesthetic learning helps students that prefer a more hands-on experience. Practical exercises, experiments in class and role play are what students will appreciate the most if they learn in this way. Having a good sense of your surroundings is a big part of kinesthetic learning as well, as it allows students to develop their skills.

Main characteristics of kinesthetic learners include:

  • Developing skills from hands-on experiments in class
  • Team-based projects where everyone works together to achieve their goals
  • School trips, like the ones on offer at this Nursery in Surrey
  • Physical activities and exercise

The main drawback spotted is that students tend to struggle entering a changing environment; a morning of practical activities to move to a writing exercise can be quite jarring for children. However, school trips, sports and personal learning exercises can help students learn to build a more rounded learning style that stands out above the others.

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