Learning Styles


Definition

This approach to learning emphasizes the fact that individuals perceive and process information in very different ways. The learning styles theory implies that how much individuals learn has more to do with whether the educational experience is geared toward their particular style of learning than whether or not they are “smart.” In fact, educators should not ask, “Is this student smart?” but rather “How is this student smart?”

Discussion

The concept of learning styles is rooted in the classification of psychological types. The learning styles theory is based on research demonstrating that, as the result of heredity, upbringing, and current environmental demands, different individuals have a tendency to both perceive and process information differently. The different ways of doing so are generally classified as:

  1. Concrete and abstract perceivers–Concrete perceivers absorb information through direct experience, by doing, acting, sensing, and feeling. Abstract perceivers, however, take in information through analysis, observation, and thinking.
  2. Active and reflective processors–Active processors make sense of an experience by immediately using the new information. Reflective processors make sense of an experience by reflecting on and thinking about it.

Traditional schooling tends to favor abstract perceiving and reflective processing. Other kinds of learning aren’t rewarded and reflected in curriculum, instruction, and assessment nearly as much.

How the Learning Styles Theory Impacts Education

Curriculum–Educators must place emphasis on intuition, feeling, sensing, and imagination, in addition to the traditional skills of analysis, reason, and sequential problem solving.

Instruction–Teachers should design their instruction methods to connect with all four learning styles, using various combinations of experience, reflection, conceptualization, and experimentation. Instructors can introduce a wide variety of experiential elements into the classroom, such as sound, music, visuals, movement, experience, and even talking.

Assessment–Teachers should employ a variety of assessment techniques, focusing on the development of “whole brain” capacity and each of the different learning styles.

Reading

Bernice McCarthy, The 4-MAT System: Teaching to Learning Styles with Right/Left Mode Techniques.

David Kolb, Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development.

Carl Jung, Psychological Types.
Name Your Link

Gordon Lawrence, People Types and Tiger Stripes: A Practical Guide to Learning Styles.

The content on this page was written by On Purpose Associates.


About the author -

Funderstanding

Funderstanding is a resource for teachers, parents, and students to stay up to date on education-related issues. The company focuses on innovative and progressive approaches to inspire learning in classrooms as well as homes.


16 Responses to Learning Styles

  1. Liz Trevino says:

    As educators, we need to pay more attention to studens’ learning styles as we lesson plan. There should be a balance of learning styles to ensure that we are reaching every type of learner.

  2. Makafu Roggers says:

    Why should not I say thank you? Yes I must say thank you! You comment about learning styles is good. For teachers to keep in touch with the learners’ learning outcomes in the classroom , they have to design instructions for teaching and learning tools; otherwise , learning may be minimal or not take place.
    keep up!

  3. Vivian P. Demegillo says:

    As I’ve read everything about the different learning styles and its implications to teaching, I was so thankful for I know that my knowledge about learners and the means and ways of how to learn is a very necessary part as educator and I am an educator too. Thank you and more power.

  4. Jared Harvey says:

    I am currently teaching a Methods course to College instructors. This information is very clear and to the point. I plan on using this as a springboard for them, so they can figure out how they can make changes to their curriculum, instruction, and assessment techniques to fit the needs of all learners. It should be a great learning experience for them!

  5. Blog Entry 5: Learning Styles « Vaalerieb's Blog says:

    [...] Blog Entry 5: Learning Styles One. There are four learning styles that Luc Lacroix presented to us in class. Here is the definition of what learning styles is:  This approach to learning emphasizes the fact that individuals perceive and process information in very different ways. The learning styles theory implies that how much individuals learn has more to do with whether the educational experience is geared toward their particular style of learning than whether or not they are “smart.” In fact, educators should not ask, “Is this student smart?” but rather “How is this student smart. (Liz Trevino) The first one is sequential verbal, the second is simultaneous, the third one is verbal and the last one is non-verbal Two. My dominant style is Simultaneous verbal. I think that this intelligence well represent me because I am a person who has a lot of creativity, I do not respect the order of steps and I am not a person structured. Three. I think that the strategies linked I will use to study for my final exam in this course will be that I will try to  memorized a song  in my head with all the painters and their paintings. Because we have a lot of things to learn, I will not study at the last minute so that will help me a lot too. Four.  The strategy that works the most for me it is to write and rewrite. Mediagraphy : Trevino, Liz. “Learning Styles.” Funderstanding: Education and Training for Active Learners. 27 June 2009. Web. 09 Dec. 2010. http://www.funderstanding.com/content/learning-styles. [...]

    • Jennifer says:

      Aaron,

      Thank you for pointing out Anthony Gregorc’s Mind Styles™ Model. It is quite interesting. Are you well versed in his model? Would you be interested in contributing a piece about the model to add to this post on Learning Styles?

  6. rajesh kumar says:

    i want to know about..
    1.what is learning style.
    2.definition of learning style.
    3.type of learning style.
    4.definition of every type of learning style.
    5.method to find out every type of learning style.
    6.tools or questionair to find out every type of learning style.

    • Jennifer says:

      Rajesh,

      Thank you for visiting our site. We will work on a post to cover your questions. Please stay tuned!

      Best,
      Jennifer

  7. MP says:

    Good article. I think I will use the test to determine the learning styles of my students. This could help me plan more useful activities for the class.
    MP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Be a better parent, better teacher.
Get our newsletter.

Receive our newsletter every 2 weeks. We never share your information.

Each newsletter contains:

• Q&A with experts in education/learning
• learning tips from experienced educators
• latest developments in education technology