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Learning Styles

Learning Styles

For education majors, it is important to understand research on learning styles because it affects how the student's you teach will acquire knowledge. Have the writers at Paper Masters custom write research on learning styles to help you learn about the importance of learning styles.

In order for students to learn efficiently and effectively, it is imperative for instructors to understand the different learning styles that they possess. With this understanding, instructors will be able to meet the needs of each individual student. Traditionally, there are four different types of learning styles:

  1. Visual learning style
  2. Auditory learning style
  3. Tactile learning style
  4. Kinesthetic intelligence

What Research on Each Learning Style Means

  1. Students that are visual learners have the tendency to learn more efficiently and effectively through visual cues and media. Visual arts, illustrations, and media learning sources better serve the needs of visual learners.
  2. Students that are auditory learners have the tendency to learn more efficiently and effectively through auditory cues and media. Speeches, audio recordings, and story telling better serve the needs of auditory learners.
  3. Students that are tactual learners have the tendency to learn more efficiently and effectively through the use of personal relationships and fine motor skills. Group discussions, touching and feeling objects, and creative lessons plans will better meet the needs of tactual learners.
  4. Students that are kinesthetic learners have the tendency to learn more efficiently and effectively by participating in hands-on activities and with the use of gross motor skills. Role-playing, simulation exercises, and real life experiences will better serve the needs of students that are kinesthetic learners.

About Learning Styles

Individuals develop unique learning styles as a combination of inherited traits that affect our way of learning and other traits that develop over our lifetimes. "Everybody can learn," says Professor Rita Dunn of St. John's University, an expert on learning styles, "but you've got to learn to really study and concentrate and focus in your own way." The problem is that people tend to assume that what works for them will work for others. David Ebeling, a teacher, administrator and educational consultant, says, "most of us tend to teach the way we learn." Further, most environments do not cater to one-on-one instruction, but rather resort to frontal group instruction in a class setting. It is only too easy to forget that each student is different and that what works for some will not work for others - as a result, somebody in class almost always gets left behind. In order to minimize students' failure to learn, teachers must develop curriculum that cater to all three physiological learning styles and addresses the learning needs of auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners.

No one physiological learning style is better than another. Also, typically, students leverage more than one style to learn - but will have a dominant style that generally dictates their academic character. When teachers emphasize their own personal styles of learning - as they are naturally inclined to do unless they consciously take action to teach differently - they strike a strong chord with students with whom they share a dominant physiological learning style, but may find that other students' learning is inadequate or that some students fail to learn completely.

When faced with students who fail to learn, teachers may employ one of two approaches - they may simply repeat the material in the next session and hope that repetition will succeed where pedagogy fails, or they may adapt their way of teaching to accommodate the diversity among students in learning styles. I would advocate that teachers need to structure curriculum in a way that will cater to all three physiological learning styles more or less equally - they need to combine frontal lectures and discussions preferred by auditory learners with overheads and extensive use of the blackboard to accommodate the visual learners, as well as with activities that encourage participation and experimentation so that the needs of kinesthetic learners are taken into account as well. In this way, all students are given a fair and equal chance to absorb the material. Obviously, the effort required to structure lesson plans using this method is far greater than otherwise - but such effort will lead to better learning and to a more engaged class. Hopefully, pedagogical success will follow and suffice as encouragement for the teachers who do choose to improve their instructional methods in the manner suggested.

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