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Learning Styles

There are different styles of learning that we use every day that affect what we learn, how we learn and the way we learn.

We all use a mix of learning styles. However, many people have a distinctive way of learning which they use during most of their learning experiences.

What are Learning Styles?

There is a fair amount of disagreement over learning styles and whether they are actually as relevant as some people think. On one side, some experts state that learning styles are one of the great myths in learning style theory and there is no evidence to support their use. On the other side, many studies point out that learning styles do exist and people learn better if information is presented to them in their preferred style.

Learning Theory

According to learning theory, each person has a preferred way of learning which includes many different learning styles. It is fairly common for each of us to have a dominant learning style which we tend to fall back on and feel comfortable with. According to the theory, if we can pinpoint our learning style we can develop further and will be better placed to improve other areas of learning to enhance our overall learning experience.

There are seven main learning styles as follows:

  • Visual learning — these people prefer to use images including pictures, colour and spatial understanding.
  • Aural learning — these people learn better through sound such as music.
  • Verbal learning — this style of learning focuses on speech, words, writing, reading etc.
  • Physical learning — people who lean towards this style use their sense of touch as a means to learn including their hands and other parts of their body.
  • Logical learning — this style of learning uses systems, logic and reasoning.
  • Social learning — these people learn better in a social group rather than on their own.
  • Solitary learning — this learning style suits those who prefer to work alone using a system of self-study.

Factors that Affect Learning

Whether or not learning styles are real, there is no doubt that we all use a mix of the above when learning something new. In truth, the areas that affect learning and which can contribute to the learner’s performance are:

  • The student — do they want to learn and are they willing to make the effort?
  • The home — what sort of home life does the student have?
  • The school — does the school excel in all areas of teaching? Is there good discipline?
  • The curricula — does it enhance the student’s experience of learning?
  • The teacher — do they make the learning experience engaging and exciting?
  • The classroom — does it contain everything a student needs to learn?
  • The teaching and learning approaches — does it help students develop as independent learners so they develop their own understanding?

Downloadable Learning Styles Resources

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Over to You

A valuable PSHE resource pack covering self-esteem, motivation, confidence and self-awareness — a comprehensive trainer manual containing workshops and worksheets.

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