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Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 4 months ago

Image taken from MNISPI 





"A composite of the cognitive, affective, and physiological factors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how a learner perceives, interacts with, and responds to the learning environment. Included in this definition are perceptual modalities, information processing styles, and personality patterns."- NEIU


“A “learning style” can be thought of as habitual patterns in how a person learns or in how a person prefers to learn. The manner in which people think, learn, and process information is often influenced by their attitudes, feelings, and preferences.” Learning styles are different from person to person, so teachers have to be aware of the differences can deliver their instruction in different ways, so the learners needs are met (Frisby, 2007). Learning style indicates how a student learns the best. (Keefe, 1985)


Learning Styles Explained:

Learning styles is an approach of education geared toward the learner that increases the learners ability to learn.


Some are confused with the term “learning styles” because there are several terms to discuss the same topic. “Learning modalities and learning styles are terms that are often used interchangeably. A learning modality refers to a perceptual pathway (e.g., visual, verbal, auditory, kinesthetic) through which the individual naturally learns best from the environment.” There are three main learning styles. Cognition centered is related to the way people use their knowledge and organize their information. The second is personality centered which integrates personality with thinking (Frisby, 2007). The last one is activity centered which has four categories with the style. According Frisby (2007), here on the four different categories within the activity centered style:

1. “Converging (i.e., learners who are motivated by the question “How is this relevant to me?”)

2. Diverging (i.e., learners who are motivated by the question “Why is this relevant to me?”)

3. Assimilating (i.e., learners who are motivated by the question “What is there to know?”)

4. Accommodating (i.e., learners who are motivated by the question “What would happen if I did this?”)”


Learning Style Models


The "VAK" Model

Visual - Learns best by seeing visual examples.

Auditory - Learns best with sounds and vocal cues.

Kinesthetic - Learns best by touching, and moving



Visual Learners: learn through seeing...                   


These learners need to see the teacher's body language and facial expression to fully understand the content of a lesson. They tend to prefer sitting at the front of the classroom to avoid visual obstructions (e.g. people's heads). They may think in pictures and learn best from visual displays including: diagrams, illustrated text books, overhead transparencies, videos, flipcharts and hand-outs.  During a lecture or classroom discussion, visual learners often prefer to take detailed notes to absorb the information.


Auditory Learners: learn through listening...


They learn best through verbal lectures, discussions, talking things through and listening to what others have to say. Auditory learners interpret the underlying meanings of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch, speed and other nuances. Written information may have little meaning until it is heard. These learners often benefit from reading text aloud and using a tape recorder.


Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners: learn through , moving, doing and touching...


Tactile/Kinesthetic persons learn best through a hands-on approach, actively exploring the physical world around them. They may find it hard to sit still for long periods and may become distracted by their need for activity and exploration.




Here are some more practical suggestions pertaining to each learning style:


Visual Learners:


use visual materials such as pictures, charts, maps, graphs, etc.

have a clear view of your teachers when they are speaking so you can see their body language and facial expression

use colour to highlight important points in text

take notes or ask your teacher to provide handouts

illustrate your ideas as a picture or brainstorming bubble before writing them down

write a story and illustrate it

use multi-media (e.g. computers, videos, and filmstrips)

study in a quiet place away from verbal disturbances

read illustrated books

visualize information as a picture to aid memorization


Auditory Learners:


participate in class discussions/debates

make speeches and presentations

use a tape recorder during lectures instead of taking notes

read text out aloud

create musical jingles to aid memorization

create mnemonics to aid memorization

discuss your ideas verbally

dictate to someone while they write down your thoughts

use verbal analogies, and story telling to demonstrate your point


Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners


take frequent study breaks

move around to learn new things (e.g. read while on an exercise bike, mold a piece of clay to learn a new concept)

work at a standing position

chew gum while studying

use bright colors to highlight reading material

dress up your work space with posters

if you wish, listen to music while you study

skim through reading material to get a rough idea what it is about before settling down to read it in detail.


Additional Learning Styles


Research shows us that each learning style uses different parts of the brain. By involving more of the brain during learning, we remember more of what we learn. Researchers using brain-imaging technologies have been able to find out the key areas of the brain responsible for each learning style. For example:


Visual. The occipital lobes at the back of the brain manage the visual sense. Both the occipital and parietal lobes manage spatial orientation.


Aural. The temporal lobes handle aural content. The right temporal lobe is especially important for music.


Verbal. The temporal and frontal lobes, especially two specialized areas called Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas (in the left hemisphere of these two lobes).


Physical. The cerebellum and the motor cortex (at the back of the frontal lobe) handle much of our physical movement.


Logical. The parietal lobes, especially the left side, drive our logical thinking.


Social. The frontal and temporal lobes handle much of our social activities. The limbic system (not shown apart from the hippocampus) also influences both the social and solitary styles. The limbic system has a lot to do with emotions, moods and aggression.


Solitary. The frontal and parietal lobes, and the limbic system, are also active with this style.

Video taken from Durham College 




http://www.pesdirect.com/learning-styles.html A cool website where you can take a quiz to tell you your own learning modality (visual, verbal, auditory). Also has some neat strageties on the page as well for each modality.


http://www.engr.ncsu.edu/learningstyles/ilsweb.html Another self test. You can learn if you are more of an active or reflective learner; sensing or intuitive; visual or verbal; sequential or global.


http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/ILSdir/styles.htm Learning styles and strategies.




Frisby, Craig L (2007) . "Learning Styles." Encyclopedia of School Psychology. SAGE Publications. Retrieved May 11, 2008 from http://0-www.sage-ereference.com.opac.library.csupomona.edu/schoolpsychology/Article_n163.html?searchQuery=quickSearch%3Dlearning%2Bstyles


Keefe (1985) Assessment of learning style variables: the NASSP task force model. Theory into practice 24 (2): 138-141.






Yolando Mitchell Brown's edits




A chart to determins different learning styles - http://www.chaminade.org/inspire/learnstl.htm


A learning style test - http://www.ldpride.net/learning_style.html


Why  no child left behind act does not fit - http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/08/21/3314/











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