April 17, 2018 - Rasool Somji
It’s believed people processes information uniquely, so trainers and teachers should understand the different learning styles. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to tailor your teaching to suit your students or trainees.
In this article, we discuss methods of teaching for the eight different learning styles, as well as conflicting evidence which suggests these learning styles may not be as effective as once believed.
The learning styles
Everyone has a dominant learning style depending on the situation. There are eight in total:
- Visual learners
- Aural learners
- Verbal learners
- Social learners
- Logical learners
- Physical and tactile learners
- Solitary learners
- Naturalist learners
We’ll now go through each of these in detail.
1. Visual learners
Visual learners retain information more effectively when visual aids are used, such as, pictures, images, film clips, colours and diagrams. They're also good at understanding visual data presented in maps, charts and graphs.
Strategies for teaching visual learners:
- Use visual aids - most other learners will benefit from visual elements as well.
- Provide visual analogies and metaphors to help with visual imagery.
- Sometimes graphics are not easy to use for specific topics but consider writing key points in front of the class as this provides visual cues.
- Substitute words for colours and pictures.
- Ask the students to write down explanations and take notes because this entails looking at your presentation or visualising what you’re presenting.
- Colour or emphasises key points in text.
- Avoid using large blocks of text.
- Include exercises where the students create mind maps.
- Use storytelling to help with visualisation.
- Colour-code and organise any materials you provide as this helps organise things in their minds.
- Get students to visualise using phrases, such as, "Picture this", "Let's see what you would do."
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2. Aural learners
Aural learners respond to sound, music, recordings, rhymes, rhythms etc. They remember conversations well and music causes an emotional response in them.
Strategies for teaching aural learners:
- Encourage your students to participate in discussions.
- If reading is required suggest audio books if appropriate.
- Suggest for them to listen to music as they go over material.
- Allow recordings of your training sessions or make your lessons accessible via online course platforms - this is also helpful for other learning types.
- Get students to pair up and explain concepts to each other.
- Encourage problem-solving aloud.
- Suggest rereading their notes back to themselves when they get home.
- Use mnemonic devices and rhyming.
- If you are explaining a story, play relevant sounds from your computer.
3. Verbal learners
Verbal learners favour using words and linguistic skills - in speech and in writing, such as, reading, writing, listening or speaking. They like word games, puns and rhymes etc and are often strong public speakers.
Strategies for teaching verbal learners:
- Use verbal teaching and writing activities.
- Ask them to discuss or present.
- Use acronyms or mnemonic devices.
- Get the class to read aloud. Try to get them to read in a varied way rather than in monotone.
- Role-playing, for example, practicing elevator pitches or interactions between employees and clients.
- Ask them to teach members of the class certain material..
- Suggest they reread and rewrite their notes, including summaries.
- Incorporate quizzes into your lessons.
- Show them or provide them with lists of key words.
- Providing these learners with a combination of information in a variety of verbal ways can assist their learning, for example, they may initially read about a concept, afterwards they listen to an audio to support what has been read, then they write notes and finally they partner up with someone and discuss the topic.
4. Social learners
Social learners process information by interacting with and relating to others. They enjoy working with others and are often strong leaders.
Strategies for teaching social learners:
- Be inquisitive and ask them what they think about a concept/topic/idea.
- Ask them to bounce ideas off of each other and compare their ideas with others'.
- Allow them to discuss and share stories.
- Include group work.
- Engage in a role-play.
5. Logical learners
Logical learners favour using logic and reasoning. They like to classify and categorise information and solve problems with numbers. Logical learners are especially good at analysing cause and effect relationships.
Strategies for teaching logical learners:
- Provide the class with problem-solving tasks.
- Challenge them to work things out for themselves.
- Ask them to interpret abstract visual information.
- Include critical thinking exercises.
- Provide statistics and facts.
- Ask them to suggest conclusions after providing them with evidence.
6. Physical and tactile learners
Practical learners process information effectively when they use their bodies and when they are actually doing something. They put their learning into practice.
Strategies for teaching physical and tactile learners:
- Use physical exercises and provide hands-on experiences.
- Exercises where they are standing and walking are very effective.
- Include activities where they use a pen and paper to map out their thoughts and problem-solve because writing is a physical exercise.
- Find a venue that provides these learners with large spaces so they can write and draw.
- Encourage them to draw diagrams, graphs and maps.
- Get them to interact with physical objects or solve puzzles.
- Provide real life examples, such as, case studies.
- Suggest reviewing their notes whilst they engage in physical activity.
- Ask them to teach other class members some of the lesson content.
- When you are asking them to visualise, explain the sensations that would be felt, such as, "The wind was forcibly hitting against the left side of my body."
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7. Solitary learners
Solitary learners like to work and learn by themselves and self-study. They may come across as shy or cold as they keep to themselves. If you get solitary learners feeling comfortable during some of the training they are more likely to speak up during presentations or group work.
Strategies for teaching solitary learners:
- Ask questions so you know what they're thinking and how they're feeling.
- Provide individual problem-solving exercises.
- Explain why the lesson material is important as solitary learners are often interested in outcomes.
- Along with this, give the class ways to track their progress.
- Suggest links between what they have previously learned/should know and new concepts.
8. Naturalist learners
Naturalist learners process information by working with and experiencing nature. They learn by finding patterns in nature and using scientific logic for understanding.
Strategies for teaching naturalist learners:
- Include experiments in your lessons.
- Get them to imagine that what you're teaching is a new ecosystem that they can understand by finding patterns. This will help them link concepts together.
- Have exercises where they can identify and classify.
- Use examples linking to daily life, people or nature.
- Provide observational data, such as case studies.
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- Train the Trainer Courses
Evidence against the different learning styles
The concept that people learn better when taught through their preferred learning style is very popular. However the evidence for this is lacking so we’ve included this section to make you aware of studies showing that different learning styles may not be that effective.
For a new paper in Anatomical Sciences Education, a pair of researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have conducted an investigation into learning styles with hundreds of undergrads. The findings do not support the learning styles concept, reinforcing its reputation among mainstream psychologists as a myth.
The study showed that student grade performance was not correlated in any meaningful way with their dominant learning style or with any learning style(s) they scored highly on. Also, while most students (67 per cent) actually failed to study in a way consistent with their supposedly preferred learning style, those who did study in line with their dominant style did not achieve a better grade than those who didn’t.
Additional evidence against the different learning styles:
- No evidence to back idea of learning styles
- Learning styles as a myth
- The myth of 'learning styles'
- Teachers must ditch 'neuromyth' of learning styles
- The concept of different “learning styles” is a myth
Despite the conflicting evidence for the effectiveness of different learning styles, it’s good to know different teaching methods. By varying the methods of teaching, you’ll keep the attention of your students for longer and make the learning experience more enjoyable.
What teaching strategies must be used by the teachers to manage students with different learning styles? ›
- Engage the student in conversation about the subject matter.
- Question students about the material.
- Ask for oral summaries of material.
- Have them tape lectures and review them with you.
- Have them tape themselves reviewing material and listen to it together.
- Read material aloud to them.
The VARK system categorizes learners into four styles: Visual, Aural, Reading/Writing, and Kinesthetic. Many learners show strength in more than one learning style. Visual learners learn best from visual images that do not include writing. Graphs and diagrams are easy for them to understand.What are the eight teaching methods? ›
- 1.Learning through creative projects.
- 2.Cooperative learning.
- 3.Problem-based learning.
- 4.Teaching through Design.
- 5.Competency-Based learning.
- 6.Thinking-based learning.
- 7.Utilize Technology.
- 8.Non-Academic Talk.
Different teaching styles are necessary because the students need to be able to learn what the teacher is teaching. However, the choice of teaching styles used can also depend on the school mission statement, the classroom demographics, the educational philosophy of the teacher, and most importantly, the subject area.What are some teaching strategies that can be used support learning? ›
- Instructional Match. ...
- Scaffolding. ...
- Step-by-Step Strategies. ...
- Modeling & Demonstration. ...
- Performance Feedback. ...
- Opportunities to Drill & Practice to Strengthen Fragile Skills. ...
- Student 'Talk-Through' Activities. ...
- Periodic Review.
Although there are many theories regarding learning, intelligence, and learning styles, Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences suggests there are 8 different types of learners. We'll focus on these 8 types of learners in this article. One person may have just one learning style or they may have several.What are the 8 types of teaching in a multiple intelligence classroom? ›
- words (linguistic intelligence)
- numbers or logic (logical-mathematical intelligence)
- pictures (spatial intelligence)
- music (musical intelligence)
- self-reflection (intrapersonal intelligence)
- physical experience (bodily-kinesthetic intelligence)
According to Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, everybody has different types of learning styles to help them comprehend new information. There are 8 learning styles in total, ranging from visual to auditory and more.How can a teacher help students with different learning and thinking styles? ›
Ask questions so you know what they're thinking and how they're feeling. Provide individual problem-solving exercises. Explain why the lesson material is important as solitary learners are often interested in outcomes. Along with this, give the class ways to track their progress.What teaching strategy is the best? ›
- Visualization. Visualization is very simply put, the ability to create mental images based on the words we hear or the text that we read. ...
- Cooperative Learning. ...
- Differentiated Instruction. ...
- Using Technology to your Advantage. ...
- Student Centred Inquiry. ...
- Professional Development.
What strategies will you use to learn all of these new things? ›
- Ditch Your Learning Style. Are you a visual learner? ...
- Make It More Meaningful for Yourself. ...
- Learn by Doing. ...
- Study the Greats, and Then Practice. ...
- Teach What You Learn. ...
- Spend More Time Practicing Things You Find Difficult. ...
- Take Frequent Breaks. ...
- Test Yourself.
- Learning through narrative.
- Planning and visualising explicit processes.
- Working non-verbally with self-reflective, hands-on methods.
- Learning through images, symbols and metaphors.
- Learning through place-responsive, environmental practice.
- Grade level and subject. One of the first sections of a lesson is the grade level and subject of the lesson you're going to teach. ...
- Type of lesson. This is a brief section that explains the type of lesson you're going to be teaching. ...
- Duration. ...
- Topic. ...
- Objective. ...
- Materials. ...
- Directions. ...
By applying the theory of multiple intelligences in the classroom, educators take into consideration the different types of learners they might have in their class, reinforce all types of intelligences in every student, and allow for an individual learning process that will ultimately enable each learner to utilise his ...Why is it important to use different learning strategies? ›
Strategies encourage independent learning. Strategy use helps students to become more efficient and more effective learners. Learning strategies are particularly important for helping students to bypass their areas of weakness and to rely on their areas of competence.What strategies can be used to help out students with specific learning difficulties? ›
- Break learning tasks into small steps.
- Probe regularly to check understanding.
- Provide regular quality feedback.
- Present information visually and verbally.
- Use diagrams, graphics and pictures to support instruction.
- Provide independent practice.
- Model what you want students to do.
- Tip #1: Acknowledge what is happening and its impact.
- Tip #2: Remind learners of the support available to them within your relationship.
- Tip #3: Consider how what is happening might relate to your course or context.
- Tip #4: Remind learners of the support available to them outside your relationship.
Linguistic, Logical/Mathematical, Spatial, Bodily/Kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, and Naturalist.Which learning style learns the best from reading information? ›
Visual. If you are a visual learner, you learn by reading or seeing pictures. You understand and remember things by sight.What are the 8 intelligences of Gardner How do multiple intelligences influence teaching and learning? ›
As defined by Gardner, the intelligences are logical-mathematical, spatial, linguistic, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic and existential.
What are the 8 multiple intelligences and who is behind this theory? ›
To broaden this notion of intelligence, Gardner introduced eight different types of intelligences consisting of: Linguistic, Logical/Mathematical, Spatial, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, and Naturalist.What are the 8 multiple intelligences examples? ›
- Logical-mathematical intelligence. ...
- Linguistic intelligence. ...
- Spatial Intelligence. ...
- Musical Intelligence. ...
- Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence. ...
- Intrapersonal Intelligence. ...
- Interpersonal Intelligence. ...
- Naturalistic intelligence.
What are the four learning styles? The four core learning styles in the VARK model include visual, auditory, reading and writing, and kinesthetic.How students learn best? ›
Students learn by connecting new knowledge with knowledge and concepts that they already know, most effectively in active social classrooms where they negotiate understanding through interaction and varied approaches.What are the different types of learning styles and how do they relate to the individual? ›
Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing. Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch. Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems. Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.Why is it important for students to understand their different learning styles? ›
Understanding learning styles can make it easier to create, modify, and develop more efficient curriculum and educational programs. It can also encourage students' participation in these programs and motivate them to gain professional knowledge .Why is it important that teachers consider the different learning styles of the students when designing assessment activities? ›
It is important for teachers to know their learners' preferred learning styles because this knowledge will help teachers to plan their lessons to match or adapt their teaching and to provide the most appropriate and meaningful activities or tasks to suit a particular learner group at different stages.Why is it important to teachers to understand and use variety of styles? ›
Teaching styles are linked to a professor's educational value system and stem from their philosophy of education. Being aware of your own teaching style (or styles) can help you improve your teaching methods, by designing your course to increase student engagement and, ultimately, enhance student outcomes.What teaching strategies have the greatest impact? ›
- Use visuals in your explanations.
- Have your students to make concept maps.
- Provide worked examples for multi-step problems.
- Give your students time to practice doing new things – and space it out.
- Offer your students feedback on their performance.
- Model ideal behavior. ...
- Let students help establish guidelines. ...
- Document rules. ...
- Avoid punishing the class. ...
- Encourage initiative. ...
- Offer praise. ...
- Use non-verbal communication. ...
- Hold parties.
What strategies to success do I know and what strategies do I need to learn? ›
- Get to know yourself as a thinker and learner. ...
- Set a personal goal for each course. ...
- Manage your time and your attention. ...
- Think like a professor. ...
- Review your notes as soon as possible after class.
- Visual Learning (Spatial)
- Aural Learning (Auditory)
- Verbal Learning (Linguistic)
- Physical Learning (Kinesthetic)
- Logical Learning (Mathematical)
- Social Learning (Interpersonal)
- Solitary Learning (Intrapersonal)
- Naturalistic Learning.
8ways is a point of entry into this way of knowing. It is a way to develop relationally responsive practice in the way you work with your Aboriginal community. This is a pedagogy framework that allows teachers to include Aboriginal perspectives by using Aboriginal learning techniques.What are the 8 approaches in teaching? ›
Direct Method, the Audio-Lingual Method, the Silent Way, Sug- gestopedia, Community Language Learning, the Total Physical Response Method, and the Communicative Approach.What is the importance of using a lesson plan to teach? ›
Planning lessons ahead of time means teachers enter the classroom each day fully prepared to teach new concepts and lead meaningful discussions – instead of figuring things out as they go. Without a lesson plan, students can quickly lose focus and teachers may be left scrambling, thinking of what to do next.Why is it important for teachers to plan a lesson? ›
Regardless of the level of detail, the importance of lesson planning is that it bridges the curriculum's intent with the daily teaching and learning in a classroom. At a minimum, lesson planning adds the element of time, breaking the curriculum into units delivered each session.Which do you think is the most important part of a lesson plan? ›
A lesson objective can be one of the most important components of a lesson plan. Objectives define what students are going to learn during the lesson and explain how the learning is going to be assessed.What strategies can a teacher use to meet individual differences among the students? ›
- Differentiate instruction. ...
- Capitalize on learning styles. ...
- Incorporate multiple intelligences into curriculum. ...
- Capitalize on student interests. ...
- Involve students in educational goals. ...
- Use computerized instruction. ...
- Group students effectively. ...
- Consider outside placement options.
- Get to Know Your Students. ...
- Maintain Consistent Communication. ...
- Acknowledge and Respect Every Student. ...
- Practice Cultural Sensitivity. ...
- Incorporate Diversity in the Lesson Plan. ...
- Give Students Freedom and Flexibility.
- Begin the lesson with an interesting fact. ...
- Exude enthusiasm and engagement. ...
- Encourage connections that are meaningful and relevant. ...
- Plan for short attention spans. ...
- Address different learning styles and multiple intelligences. ...
- Turn lessons into games. ...
- Turn lessons into stories.
What teaching strategies do you use to meet the individual needs of all learners in a given group or class? ›
- Collaborate with colleagues. ...
- Cultivate consistency. ...
- Develop a student-centered mindset. ...
- Set aside time to focus on study skills and extra support. ...
- Use multiple forms of assessment. ...
- Draw on other professionals' expertise. ...
- Partner with families.
- Turn Negatives into Positives. ...
- Teach Positive Behaviour. ...
- Model the Behaviour You Expect. ...
- Establish a Class Code of Conduct. ...
- Communicate Well. ...
- Recognise Good Behaviour and Achievements. ...
- Proactively Develop Relationships. ...
- Have a Quiet Area.
- Cooperative learning.
- Inquiry-based instruction.
- Differentiation applied to teaching strategies.
- Technology in the classroom for teaching strategies.
- Behaviour management.
- Professional development for teaching strategies.
Arrange desks in a circular pattern if possible so hearing impaired students can see other students. This is especially important if they need to read lips. Provide students with an outline of the daily lesson and printed copies of the notes, allowing them to focus on discussions and questions while you are teaching.Which is the best teaching strategy to be used in a classroom? ›
Students learn effectively when they're working together. Plan activities that require students to work together and learn from one another. In the process, they'll also learn critical thinking skills, communication skills, problem solving skills, and more.
- Start with a Video. Everyone loves a good video, especially kids. ...
- Start with an Object. Another way to get your students wondering about a topic is to show them objects related to the content. ...
- Start with a Question. ...
- Start with Movement. ...
- Start with a Mistake.
- Know Your Pupils and Develop Their Respect.
- Appropriate use of Summative and Formative Assessments.
- Teach the Vocabulary.
- Explicit Instruction.
- Effective Questioning Techniques.
- Deliberate Practice.
- Reinforcing Effort/Providing Recognition.