Types of Learning Styles: An Overview
For years now, psychologists have agreed that there are distinct ways that children and adults prefer to learn.
A learning style refers to a person's unique approach to learning. Everybody looks at and understands the world in slightly different ways. This means that individuals pick up, learn and remember information in different ways. How an individual learns important information is known as their learning style.
The most common learning style model that teachers and parents tend to be familiar with is the VARK model. This refers to Visual, Auditory, Reading/writing and Kinaesthetic learning styles. Here we have based our seven learning types on a recognised model that takes a broader view of the well-known four styles.
The seven different learning styles are: visual learners, auditory learners, physical learners, verbal learners, logical learners, social learners and solitary learners. It is likely that one of these styles will be a best fit for you or your child. However, it is common for children to have a mixture of two or more learning styles. Additionally, children may change their learning styles over time. There is no better or worse learning style for your child to have. Equally, it is not better or worse to have one learning style or a mixture.
Visual – Look and Learn
Visual learners prefer to use pictures, diagrams and images and have good spatial understanding. Such learners tend to visualise information and will easily remember something that they have seen, such as writings on a whiteboard or drawings.
Auditory/Aural – Hear and Learn
Aural learners enjoy listening to sounds and have a good sense of rhythm. Often, aural learners will speak or read out loud to help them remember information. Aural learners' ability to hear different sounds easily might make them good at music or foreign languages.
Verbal – Learn with words
Verbal learners are those who use either spoken or written words to help them learn information. Such learners also tend to think about the meaning of words and prefer things to be written in an explanatory paragraph, rather than in a chart or diagram, which a visual learner might prefer.
Physical – Do and Learn
Physical learners like to use their hands, body and sense of touch when they are learning. Physical learners may be able to remember the details of an object or model they have held in their hands or been able to touch.
Logical – Learn with systems
Logical learners tend to follow a rational approach and easily understand systems and sequences. Such learners thrive when they see how things link to each other and work together.
Social – Learn with others
Social learners may lack focus when they work alone but do well when they work in a group or with a partner. As group work helps children to develop good communication and listening skills, social learners can also be very engaged when simply listening to a person give a presentation.
Solitary – Learn when alone
Solitary learners may struggle to work in a group but thrive when they work by themselves. Such learners may enjoy teaching themselves new skills or finding things out for themselves, rather than asking another person.
It is helpful for each child’s current learning style or styles to be identified. Knowing your child’s learning style can help you to support your child, allowing them to get the most out of their education. Each learning style lends itself to different learning techniques and using a variety with your child can only enhance their learning.
Identify your child’s learning type by reading the descriptions above or discover your child’s learning type now with our fun learning style quiz!
Then start thinking about how you can help your child to learn in the style that best suits them.