Saturday, March 20, 2010

Learning Styles

On several different occasions throughout our educational careers we are told what type of learner we are. In doing so, we are classified into three groups: Visual learners, Auditory learners, or Kinesthetic learners. These three categories come from Howard Gardner's Mutlitple Intelligence Model and are used to help students learn more effectively. Visual learners need to see pictures, maps, and videos, but an auditory learner needs to hear sounds, lectures, or read aloud. A kinesthetic learner needs to touch, build, or be hands on. The theory on learning styles does not take into account the combination of these learning techniques.

Individuals may learn better by seeing, hearing, or touching, but in reality, all aspects of learning are beneficial to a student. If the student is labeled as a certain type of learner, they may not get the chance to learn in another way. When entering adulthood, it's almost necessary that an individual be able to learn in a variety of environments. Although some people have preferences for learning more efficiently, all styles can be utilized. An individual may be labeled as a visual learner, but when it comes to building something, they may need to try it for themselves as oppose to watching someone else do it.

A website, , created a chart for determining which learning style you are. It gave examples of topics that one may come across such as spelling, talking, concentrating, reading, meeting someone, learning something new at work, and putting something together. The chart then breaks down the three learning styles and what qualities of learning fall under each. For spelling, visual is "try seeing the word", auditory is "sound the word out", and kinesthetic is "write the word down". The interesting part is that most people will do all of the above when trying to spell a new word. The idea of learning styles seems beneficial to the future of the education system, but realistically, students need to be given the opportunity to learn in every way possible.

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