Introduction to learning styles

No-one enjoys learning if it is not meaningful.  The brain loves learning because it enjoys a challenge and it is the way that it develops.  A child’s brain develops rapidly because everything is new and the brain absorbs all of the child’s  new experiences.  Every individual has their own way of learning .  Most individuals  will  read work over and over again.  This is because to learn the brain needs repetition to remember .  It is said that for something to become a habit( for it to be automatic) it needs to be repeated 40 times!!  As an example most individuals want to learn to drive.  A driving instructor may get a learner driver to continuously practice reversing round a corner.  This is to make the skill  a habit, automatic, fixed in the brain.  An age old saying ‘practice makes perfect’ is very true.

Each individual has a particular way of seeing and doing things.  This forms the background to the way each individual prefers to learn.  

like doing things e.g. making revision cards.  

Speakers and listeners e.g.  they will read out loud their revision cards.  

Like colour and learn by observing or seeing e .g. they will make their revision cards colourful .  

If an individual understands their own preferred learning style then they will find learning more enjoyable and more effective.  

It must not be forgotten, however, that information that is presented to us is not always in our own preferred learning style.  So, individuals must know how to understand information in the learning styles other than their own.  

For example:

Try giving directions to someone to where you live.  

An individual will tell someone, point it out and then show them by taking them, showing on a map or maybe drawing a map in the air.  

How is information conveyed to passengers at an airport or train station?

At an airport or train station they understand that individuals need information in different ways.  The announcement is made verbally over the loudspeaker system and visually on scrolling screens.  In the past it would have only been verbally.

The VAK questionnaire will identify an individual’s preferred learning style.  

Open and print VAK questionnaire

Next the individual will look at the suggestions of activities they can use to learn in their preferred learning style.

Some individuals have a mix of two or even the three learning styles.  So, they need to look at all the suggestions for the two or three learning styles.

Select the type of activity that appeals and try using them to learn information.  Analyse how effective it was and maybe select a different technique until the best technique is found.