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kinesthetic learner
auditory learner
visual learner
inflections
flashcards
learners
colors
music
Understanding Learning Styles
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Everyone has strategies to help them learn. These are often referred to as learning styles and have to do with how a person processes and learns information. While most people have one dominant way they learn, learning strategies can be used together or separately depending on what the material is and how it is being presented. The main techniques for learning are visual, auditory and kinesthetic.

Visual learning involves actually seeing the material. This can include written text, charts, graphs, or pictures. A visual learner can often visualize in his mind what a specific page of text looked like or what someone wore. This learner is very aware of colors and lines.

Auditory learning involves hearing the material. An auditory learner does not have to look at the teacher to absorb the information. Instead, this learner relies on hearing what is being said. This can also include music and other sounds. An auditory learner can hear something familiar and remember an experience related to that sound or music. This learner is aware of tones and inflections.

Kinesthetic learning involves physical touch and feeling. A kinesthetic learner likes hands-on activities to learn information. This learner likes to tinker. He likes to take things apart and put them back together; he likes to see how things work. This learner is very aware of what his body is feeling as he learns.

It is helpful for learners to know which way of learning they prefer and use most. By identifying their most used learning strategies, learners can determine how they learn best. For example, a visual learner can employ visual methods to remember material. He could use flashcards or pictures to help prepare for an exam. There are free evaluations online to help people determine which learning strategies they use most.

Another reason for learners to know which learning styles they use most is because teachers often use one strategy to teach the material. Therefore, if a kinesthetic learner has a teacher who uses mostly visual aids, the learner may have a hard time understanding and applying the information. That learner would benefit from learning the material from a kinesthetic approach. Instead of seeing a picture of the model of an atom, the learner would be better off building his own model of an atom.

Teachers can help their students learn by using a variety of teaching methods to match their students’ learning styles. A teacher could help students learn about the water cycle by showing pictures and diagrams, playing a recording of sounds of different types of precipitation and using varying temperatures to cause water to evaporate, condense, and precipitate.

Teachers and students can both work to identify learning styles and use appropriate methods to make learning more effective.


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