The way people learn varies from person-to-person. Depending on individual biases, people will retain different levels of knowledge from certain courses. If a course is taught entirely through a lecture, not everyone will retain the same amount of information. The same can be said about a course that is visually-based, or has a section of only reading.
Most classes won’t teach all the work in just one style, so that different types of learning styles can be covered. This will help every person in the class reach an approximate level of retention. If one style of learning is left out, especially with classes that teach mostly theory, it’s hard to teach students who learn in different ways. Luckily, most people aren’t 100% one style of learner—they can learn in one style or more, but often have a dominant style of learning.
Here are a few styles of learning. Read on to figure out which camp of learners you fall into.
Kinesthetic learners learn by doing. They know the theories, they can grasp certain things, but sometimes they just have to do things to really retain what is being taught. This is how most jobs train people, so if you’re a predominantly kinesthetic learner and haven’t really done well in school, that’s because most classes don’t have you do the things they teach. You can read about history but never participate in it. Science can be tricky to teach to kinesthetic learners as well—I could describe a molecule and show you a picture of it, but you can never really interact with it on an intimate level unless you also have an electron microscope and highly expensive equipment.
This type of learner will be the one doing well on that pop quiz in class after the material was taught entirely through a long and drawn-out lecture. Lots of classes are mostly instruction, so you must be at least partly an audio learner to function in any fashion in the classroom. This is often the most-used type of teaching, and if your professor or teacher has a boring or hard-to-listen-to voice, you’re going to have a bad time.
These are the artists, the wanderers, and the day dreamers you see staring off into space or looking at the board during a lecture. These people need visualizations and diagrams for their learning. They prefer to read the bullet points during a lecture and would rather take notes to study from. They want you to demonstrate and show them how things should be done.
There should be a distinction between the two, and disabilities such as dyslexia should have an entire article representing them. Unmotivated learners sometimes switch between styles of learning and can become frustrated with which one may be dominant or easiest for them to learn with. Achievements can be difficult for both at first, but perseverance and a patient teacher that’s willing to try different styles should allow both to progress.
If you’ve made it this far in the article, you’re a nerd—I’m joking, it’s a short article. Overachieving learners can often be found with their noses deep inside a textbook. They are accelerated in their studies and can display all types of learning styles, but would rather remain quiet with the book. They may be reading the entire thing, including the material that won’t be taught in the class, but they could also be listening. Please let the overachiever borrow your pencil or pen, because they can take notes too—that they’ll be happy to share if you’re nice enough.
Featured photo credit: liquene/imcreator via imcreator.com
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