We hope you enjoyed your well-deserved break and took some time to build up the needed energy for the final school term. Holidays are always a good time to reflect on the past year. Achievements, struggles, opportunities and challenges always seem to be top-of-mind when we have a spare second to sit down and reflect. And certainly with report cards being handed out, one always wonders if you could’ve done more to support your child, especially when it comes to learning.
Howard Gardner developed a Theory on Multiple Intelligences based on the assumption that different individuals display different types of intellectual strengths and that this translates into specific preferences in how they perceive and use information presented to them within a learning environment. Tailoring learning to match specific learning preferences increases motivation to learn, insight and understanding into material as well as enhanced control over the processes involved in learning. Most of the time we use a combination of learning styles but most people tend to have a dominant preference for one specific style when learning. Seven learning preferences have been identified.
Seven different types of learners:
1. Auditory learners – the listeners and talkers.
They like to read out loud, are not afraid to speak in class, like oral reports, are good at explaining, remember names, notice sound effects in movies, enjoy music, read slowly, follow spoken directions well, can’t keep quiet for too long, enjoy acting, are good in study groups, have good rhythm and can become distracted by visual stimuli.
- Tips for auditory learners –
- Use rhymes to remember facts
- Watch videos
- Record classes or lectures to listen back afterwards
- Repeating facts with their eyes closed
- Group discussions
- Audiotapes and books
- Taping notes after they’ve written them down.
- Create your own songs and jungles to remember content
2. Visual learners – the readers and observers.
Tend to think in pictures, have a vivid imagination and they daydream. They’re good with spelling but forget names, need quiet to study, take a little longer to process info they are listening to in a classes or lectures, like colour and fashion, dream in colour, like charts, are good with sign language.
- Tips for visual learners –
- Draw maps and pictures
- Ask the teacher for a diagram
- Watch videos
- Use flashcards
- Outline reading
- Use highlighters, circle words and underline
- Replace words with symbols (spider diagrams and mind maps)
- Plan well with a wall planner for important dates and tasks
3. Tactile learners – the touchers and movers.
They are good at sport, can’t sit still for too long, are great at spelling, don’t have great handwriting, can study with loud music, like adventure, take a lot of breaks when studying, build models, do well in martial arts or dancing, can’t stop fidgeting during class enjoy practical hands-on taks and use their hands to gesture when talking.
- Tips for tactile learners –
- Learn while moving around
- Use an abacus for maths
- Link concepts to everyday examples
- Use flash cards to memorise & play memory game
- Studying with others
- Taking field trips or adventures to learn
- Role playing or playing dress up
- Studying in short blocks of time
4. Verbal learners – the words-on-paper lovers.
This learning style differs from visual learners in that they prefer learning from text based materials as opposed to visual representations of information in the form of charts and diagrams. They enjoy reading and writing, have well-developed vocabularies, love to tell stories and play words games, keep journals, fare better with written instructions, and recall written info better as opposed to visual images.
- Tips for verbal learners –
- Read out loud while making notes
- Listen to recordings (either themselves reading or others’ presentations thereof)
- Teaching others is study groups works well
- Rewrite and reword material in your own words
- Use lists and bullet points
- Describe diagrams using written words or statements
5. Solitary learners – they go it solo.
Individuals with a solitary learning preference tend to learn best in an individual or solitary environment. They are self-aware and understand their own moods and emotions. They enjoy activities they can do alone, like writing in their journal. They think before they talk and thrive in environments with zero distractions.
- Tips for solitary learners –
- Study by yourself.
- Relate study material to your own personal interests.
- Visualise study material. Think how you would feel if you were part of the topic or subject being discussed.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
6. Social learners – the groupies.
Individuals with a social learning preference learn best when in groups or surrounded by other people. They have good communications skills, enjoy debates, meeting new people and cooperating with others. They are sensitive to the moods, needs and emotions of others.
- Tips for social learners –
- Create study groups
- Role play
- Teach others
7. Logical learners – the step-by-steppers.
Individual with the Logical learning preference learns best when using logical and critical thinking skills. They are interested in the bigger picture, think in a linear style, enjoy structured and organised environments, working with numbers, building puzzles and playing strategy games.
- Tips for logical learners –
- Create lists with specific objectives and goals
- Use flow chart to link concepts
- Read over work to get the bigger picture before studying in detail
- Create associations between concrete and abstract material
- Don’t parrot learn content
Understanding how your child learns can drastically change the way they take in, sort and feedback facts. And will no doubt change how they behave in class and perform in tests. Take these tips and discuss them with your child’s teacher and come up with a plan to help your child learn better in the classroom and at home.
Want to know which learning style your child prefers, click here and complete the questionnaire.
For more info about how information is observed, captured and processed in the brain, or if you suspect that your child has ADD or ADHD, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 011 888 9334.
In our next blog post, we take a look at Acing exams with ADD. Remember to check back at the beginning of November or subscribe to receive our helpful hints and ADD tips via newsletter.