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Learning Style Theories

Page history last edited by jhwhitley@csupomona.edu 9 years, 9 months ago

Learning Styles Theories


Presented To You By


John Whitley, Jr.

Ellen Park

Gustavo  Madrigal 










Maximize Your Ability To Learn


"An important part of that understanding is knowing who we are and what we can do... Ultimately, we must synthesize our understandings for ourselves. The performance of understanding that try matters are the ones we carry out as human beings in an imperfect world which we can affect for good or for ill". (Smith, 2008)













An assumption that a learner is passive, responding to environmental stimuli. Behavior is shaped through positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement. Both positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement increase the probability that the antecedent behavior will happen again. In contrast, punishment (both positive and negative) decreases the likelihood that the antecedent behavior will happen again. (Ellsworth, 2011)


Positive indicates the application of a stimulus; Negative indicates the withholding of a stimulus. Learning is therefore defined as a change in behavior in the learner. Lots of (early) behaviorist work was done with animals (e.g. Pavlov’s dogs) and generalized to humans. Behaviorism precedes the cognitivist worldview. It rejects structuralism and is an extension of Logical Positivism.






Cognitivism focuses on mental processes which includes how people perceive, think, remember, learn, solve problems. Psychologists working from a cognitivist perspective, then, seek to understand cognition. In relation to the pyschology of Gestalt  and the work of Jean Piaget, cognitivism has been prominent in psychology since the 1960s; it contrasts with behaviorism, where psychologists concentrate their studies on observable behavior.related to studies in artificial intelligence. Lastly, cognitivism has influenced education, as studies of how people learn potentially sheds light on how to teach most effectively.





It is a theory based on how people learn. In this theory people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through their own personal experiences and their reflections from those experiences.


When individuals encounter something new, we have to reconcile it with our previous ideas and experience, maybe changing what we believe, or maybe discarding the new information as irrelevant. In any case, we create our own knowledge.  When being active creators of our knowledge, we must ask questions, explore, and assess what we know. (Ellsworth, 2011)










 Multiple Intelligences-Howard Gardner.







"Multiple intelligences states that not only do human beings have many different ways to learn and process information, but that these are independent of each other: leading to multiple "intelligences" as opposed to a general intelligence factor among correlated abilities. In 1999 Gardner currently lists eight intelligences as linguistic, logic-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily kinesthetic, naturalist, interpersonal and intrapersonal. Gardner is still considering a ninth, or existential intelligence, but has not added it yet".(Smith, 2008)








8 Multiple Intelligences





1. Inter-personal- 

    The ability to understand people's moods, motivations, desires, and intentions.


2. Intra-personal-

    Assessing your own moods,motivations,desires and intentions.


3. Verbal Linguistic-

    The ability to analyze information and produce works that involve speech.


4. Logical Mathematical- 

    The ability to perform math problems such as formulating equations, analyzing proofs and making calculations. 




An Overview Video of The Multiple Intelligences 





5. Visual Spatial-

   The ability to understand information from maps and other forms of geographical information.


6. Musical Intelligence-

    The ability to produce and understand various sounds.


7. Natural Intelligence-

    The ability to identify and to make distinctions between different types of plants,animals, weather and other entities that is

    related to nature.


8. Body Kinesthetic-

    Using ones own body to create products and to solve problems.                                     




Learning Styles 








1. Visual Learning-

    Learning by looking/visualizing information such as books, charts, flow charts, graphs etc.


2. Auditory Learning-

    Learning by listening to spoken words or audio devices.


3. Kinesthic/Tactile Learning-

    Learning through physical means by using body movement.




Watch This Video To Discover What Type of Learning Are You





Kolbs & Experimental Learning.








"David Kolb’s Learning Cycle Kolb’s Learning Cycle is based on the John Dewey’s claim that learning must be grounded in experience, Kurt Lewin’s ideas of the importance of active learning, and Jean Piaget’s emphasis on the interaction between person and environment on intelligence".(Atkinson, 2011)






   Kolbs Experimental Learning Cycle  




1. Concrete Experience -

    Individuals experience new experiences.


2. Reflective Observation-

    Of the new experience. Of particular importance are any inconsistencies between experience and understanding.


3. Abstract Conceptualisation-

    Reflections bring forth new ideas and new concepts.


4. Active Experimentation-

    Learner applies what he/she from results from a study.project or an experiment or an activity.













Kolbs Learning Styles

1. Diverging-


     Individuals who are sensitive. They enjoy solving problems. These people would be considered 'Diverging' because these 

     people performing better situations.


 2. Assimilating-


    For these individuals Ideas and concepts are more important than people.  People require good clear explanation rather

    than practical opportunity. They excel at understanding wide-ranging information and organizing it a clear logical format. 


3. Converging- 


    People with a Converging learning style can solve problems and will use their learning to find solutions to practical issues. 

    They prefer technical tasks, and are less concerned with people and interpersonal aspects. 


4.  Accomodating-


     The Accommodating learning style is 'hands-on', and relies on intuition rather than logic. These people use other 

     people's analysis, and prefer to take a practical, experiential approach. They are attracted to new challenges

     and experiences,and to carrying out plans.





An Overview of David Kolb's Learning Styles





Helpful Outside Links On Learning Style Theories.























  • Atkinson, A.G. (2011). Kolbs: Learning Style Inventory: A practitioner's perspective. Measurement & Evaluation in Counseling and Development. 23(4),49. 




  •  Deering, A.H. & Roblyer, M.D, (2010). Integrating educational technology into teaching. (5th edition) Boston, MA: Pearson.


  •  Ellsworth,M.E. (2011), Understanding educational styles in counseling and therapy for couples and family. The Family Journal. 19(1), 90-95. 



















Comments (4)

jhwhitley@csupomona.edu said

at 1:17 am on Apr 27, 2011

Hi John, I would suggest to add an introduction and quick summary on the 3 big learning theories. I changed the picture you used and replaced it with the one below as it seems to be more appropriate for the topic. I highlighted areas I thought might need your attention. Your references are good and there's plenty of links! If you still have your book from our last quarter class "Integrating Technology Into Teaching" There's a great chapter there that gives a great summary in learning theories and goes into a summary of each one.

jhwhitley@csupomona.edu said

at 3:52 pm on Apr 28, 2011

Ok guys I am making some final changes. Gustavo thanks for your help wiht grammar check.

ellen park said

at 6:50 pm on Apr 28, 2011

I just bolded some of the titles and formated some of the styles. there were sentences that were on different lines. This has great amount of information so I did not change anything!

jhwhitley@csupomona.edu said

at 12:16 am on Apr 29, 2011

Ok thanks you so much Ellen and Gustavo

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