Ok, so you’re either super clued up and know exactly what type of learner you are, or you have absolutely no idea and are about to find out. Learning styles are important - they impact pretty much everything we do.
We’re all different, therefore it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that we all have our own, unique way of learning.
Do you ever remember being completely engrossed during a lesson in school? Do you ever remember (go on, admit it) being so disinterested that you struggled to stay awake? A lot of this may have been down to your learning style and how that interacted with the way the lesson was being delivered.
The three primary learning styles are: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.
Visual learners tend to learn by looking, seeing, viewing, and watching, and often need to see facial expressions and body language to fully understand the content and context of a lesson or situation. They tend to sit at the front of the classroom to avoid visual distractions, think primarily in pictures, and learn best from visual displays. Visual learners are stereotypically detailed note-takers so they can absorb information.
Auditory learners tend to learn by listening, hearing, and speaking, and learn best through lectures, discussions, and brainstorming. They are the type of folk who interpret the underlying meaning of speech by listening to someone’s tone of voice, pitch, speed and other nuances. They’re not so bothered about written information - they just want to hear it. They benefit best by reading out loud and recording stuff
Kinesthetic learners tend to learn by experiencing, moving, and doing, benefitting most by a hands-on approach. They are the type who have ants in their pants - they have difficulty sitting still for long periods of time, and easily become distracted because they are designed to be out there doing stuff, exploring stuff and getting stuck in.
Recognise yourself yet?
You might be asking why it’s so important to identify your own learning style. Well, by recognising whether you are a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner, you’ll be able to incorporate learning techniques better suited to you, making learning more enjoyable. It’ll eventually make life easier too … you’ll have a better idea how to work, how to interact with colleagues, how to present your ideas and what you’ll need to get on.
Learning is “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience.” Your learning style is the way you process information. There is no right or wrong way.
Many factors can contribute to the differences in learning styles. A person’s background, strengths, weaknesses, interests, ambitions, levels of motivation, and approaches to studying are all factors that could influence their learning style. Knowing how you retain information best will make you more productive and help you get more enjoyment out of any course.
So how do you find out for sure what your learning style is?
There are many online assessments that you can do to assess your learning style. Try one of these:
And by the way, it’s really important to remember that no learning style is more or less important than another. Your learning style is something to be proud of - not to hide.
What you are good at and what your hobbies are can also determine your learning style. For example, visual learners tend to be people with a greater attention to detail, such as artists, inventors, mechanics, etc. Auditory learners are more likely to be people who speak or listen for a living - politicians, psychologists, actors, etc. Kinesthetic learners need to feel - so it’s more likely that they will be sports people or builders, etc.
Let’s see some notable names, alive and dead, and their learning styles:
- Steve Jobs (Founder of Apple)
- Pablo Picasso (Artist)
- Albert Einstein (Nobel Prize winning mathematician and physicist)
- Steven Spielberg (Film Director)
- Boris Johnson (UK Prime Minister)
- Kiera Knightly (Actress)
- Lionel Messi (Footballer)
- Tom Cruise (Actor)
- Serena Williams (Tennis player)
- Tiger Woods (Golfer)
If you haven’t already, go find out what you are!