Many people spend a good portion of their lives in school. This is where some of their learning experience takes place though it does not end there. From learning the basics of reading, writing, and math, to acquiring skills and knowledge for their future profession, much of it happens in school.
People within the same school learn with the help of the same teachers and are surrounded by almost the same people, but they learn differently. This is because each person has his own preferred approach in learning. These approaches are known as “learning styles”.
What is a Learning Style?
Most people know that every person has their own learning style and they are usually aware of the style they themselves prefer. Aside from yourself, teaching professionals in your institution need to adjust their teaching method for your better understanding.
Since some people prefer a different style than others, one specific teaching style would not work for a diverse group of students. Some students might learn faster than the rest of their classmates if the teaching style used is suited to them. Others may struggle and be left behind.
Even with the discoveries and studies about these different learning styles, most teachers and schools use the same teaching methods; visual and logical. Visual learners and logical learners have an advantage from this; teachers see them as more intelligent than the rest when in fact the rest just respond better to a different type of learning style.
This sometimes causes a psychological effect especially to young learners; they are discouraged and sometimes reprimanded by teachers just because they do not perform like the others.
Types of Learning Styles
There are seven different types of learning styles. Every person might be good at one or more learning techniques and this can be developed further over time. Learning with less dominant styles can also be improved with enough self-motivation and practice.
Aside from personal preference, some learning styles are naturally more suitable for acquiring certain types of new skills. Here are the various learning style types.
1. Visual Learning
Visual learners learn best with the aid of images, graphic organizers, maps, charts, diagrams. They process and retain newly learned information with the use of such illustrations. When trying to recall information, they remember by visualizing what they saw when they first came across the topic.
People who prefer this type of learning tend to be good at directions because of their good spatial sense. They can easily understand and follow maps and rarely get lost in new places. Most of them have a good sense in fashion and matching colors, and their common hobbies are drawing, scribbling, doodling, etc.
In school, visual learners like to see the teacher speaking to be able to understand the lesson, they also learn best when they see things written on the board, they are good at spelling, and they take notes for better recalling and understanding of the topic.
They also study best in quiet environment and prefer to work alone. Spatial learners are typically organized and meticulous, are quiet, always make to-do lists (though, does not necessarily follow it), and are good at remembering faces but not their respective names.
The part of the brain responsible for visual sense is the occipital lobes at the back of the brain. It manages spatial orientation.
2. Physical Learning
Physical learning, also known as kinesthetic or tactile learning, is learning through moving, touching, or doing. Kinesthetic learners have to manipulate the learning materials first before they fully understand and acquire the new skill.
They are hands on learners and they figure things out on their own. These individuals learn best when they apply what they have studied theoretically to real life situations.
When studying or reviewing, physical learners keep themselves moving to keep a better focus on what they are learning. The drawback here is that in order to remember what they studied, let’s say for example during an exam, they have to do the same movement.
Physical learners have to take this into account when choosing the movement they would use to aid their studying. Furthermore, tactile learners are found to be more physically active than other people.
They engage themselves in different sports or they exercise regularly. Aside from it, these kinds of learners keep themselves busy with even little physical activities like chewing gum, tapping their foot or a pencil, and they also like studying on a rocking chair or even in a hammock.
Physical movement of the body controlled mostly by the cerebellum and the motor cortex of the brain. An example of physical learning is a basketball player who is learning how to dunk a basketball.
3. Aural Learning
This is more commonly known as auditory learning. In simple terms, it is learning through speaking, hearing, and/or listening. The concept of aural learning is a bit self explanatory.
Aural learners understand new concepts best in verbal lectures, discussions, speeches, and anything that requires listening. They understand articles better when they hear it spoken aloud than when they read it silently.
Aural learners also analyze the tone and interpretation of the speaker which might imply something which is not demonstrable when written. Students review their lessons by recording themselves reading their notes aloud, and then listening to it.
Auditory learners tend to be musically inclined. They enjoy listening to music, and watching plays and dramas. They also like talking to other people, and are a good listener at the same time.
The temporal lobe of the brain is responsible for managing auditory information. The right temporal lobe is vital for music.
4. Verbal Learning
Verbal learning is learning with words, both written and oral. These types of learners take in information well using both written and spoken language. Verbal learners acquire new knowledge through listening and reading.
They express themselves through language too; they are most likely good writers and effective speakers. Most learners of this type perform well in terms of memorization, too.
Verbal learners show high appreciation or the arts, music, novels, plays and dramas, screenplay, politics, etc. Linguistic learners seek constant learning in variety of ways to continuously widen their vocabulary to further improve their communication skills.
They use their linguistic ability as an advantage for increasing their knowledge and wisdom. Most verbal learners pursue career in language study, writing, performing arts, law, politics, and other professions concerning language.
The parts of the brain concerned with a person’s verbal abilities are the temporal and the frontal lobes.
5. Logical Learning
This is the learning style associated with mathematical ability of students. Logical learning style is the capability of a person to reason out using available data following logic and not just instincts.
In schools, logical thinkers are more often than not the math wizards of the class. These learners are always curious about their surroundings and often ask questions. They easily notice patterns through observation and analysis.
They see the interconnection between objects that make up a system. This is why they are often good at puzzles and strategy games such as chess, sudoku, etc.
Logical learners aim to understand the system, they look for reliable information to back up their conclusion and not just settle with letting things the way they are. Their approach to thinking is often scientific and their points are supported by research or statistics. They focus more on understanding the concept than merely memorizing terms and their definitions.
The left side of the parietal lobes is responsible for logical thinking.
6. Social Learning
It is also known as interpersonal learning. This is for extroverts who like spending as much time as possible with other people. Social learners are usually good at communicating with people both verbally and non-verbally.
They are so good at interacting with people that many of their friends go to them to ask for advice; they are very good listeners and very understanding of other people’s opinion and beliefs. They are also observers; they examine other people’s behavior, watch their reaction to certain things, and then learn from them.
As students, they like listening to opinion and feedback from their classmates and teacher alike to know what to improve in their self. They like working in groups, attending social activities, playing team sports, etc.
The frontal and the temporal lobes are concerned with social activities. The limbic system also has influence in both social and solitary learning styles.
See Also: 4 Different Types of Anxiety
7. Solitary Learning
It is also called intrapersonal learning. This is the opposite of social learning. If social learners prefer large group of people, solitary learners like working alone. This type of learner does not rely on other people, but on self-reflection, analysis, and evaluation instead. They like studying in a quiet and private environment.
Solitary learners may keep a diary or a journal. They think too much over things that they choose to face alone which are much easier when with someone else. They also think or plan too much about achieving their goals in life and what they should do to get there.
The frontal and parietal lobes of the brain are active in this learning style. The limbic system, as mentioned earlier, is also involved here. Emotions, moods, and aggression are coming from this part.