As human beings, we often consider ourselves complex creatures, each with our own personalities, tastes, likes and dislikes. This complexity is also what makes every one of us special and unique in our own way. Our uniqueness doesn’t just apply to our likes and dislikes but every other aspect of our lives as well. When it comes to work and career, there are people who succeed in creative and manual jobs, while others find more success from working at their desks.
This multiplicity applies to learning as well. Did you know that there are multiple kinds of learning styles which are all very effective in their own way?
Every individual has their own preferred method of learning and can best learn through such individual learning styles. So rather than wasting hours and hours trying to learn through a style that just isn’t working for you, you can easily assess your learning style and find out the most effective approach based on your specific learning style.
What are learning styles?
Since the concept of different types of learning came into the radar of researchers and educators in the late 20th century, there have been a few learning styles theories around this concept.
In 1987, Neil D. Fleming launched the VARK model that categorizes students’ preferred learning styles into four main categories: Visual, Auditory, Read/Write and Kinesthetic. Some teachers have incorporated this model in their classrooms to facilitate effective teaching approaches that best fit each student’s learning style.
Some new studies, like Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences for example, have since expanded on this model to include more styles like interpersonal, intrapersonal, logical, verbal/linguistic styles, etc.
So what type of learner are you? You can easily find out your personal learning style by going through this list.
What are the benefits of tutoring?
Some educators try their best to create an inclusive classroom by employing teaching techniques that will work for students with various learning styles. However, one classroom will have many different students with multiple learning capacities and styles. So to cater to every student’s individual learning style, a teacher will have to employ various teaching techniques and mediums in one classroom and introduce activities for different learning styles.
Not only is this a challenge for the teacher, it can turn out to be confusing, rather than beneficial, for some students as well. As such, most teachers will often opt for more generalized teaching methods in their classrooms. This is where the need for tutoring comes in.
A personal tutor can expand beyond classroom-delivered content through teaching techniques that fit your individual learning style. Personal tutors take into account the individual learning styles, challenges, strengths and weaknesses of their students when teaching. That’s why they’re instrumental for students who wish to access their best learning capacity, especially for those with less traditional learning styles.
What are the 7 different learning styles?
Let’s take a look at what some of the different learning styles are and identify the best approach for each style.
1) Visual (Spatial)
If you’re someone who likes learning through visual stimulators like graphs, diagrams and illustrations, you’re most likely a visual learner. For visual learners, information is most comprehensible when presented through visual formats. If your learning style fits under this category you’ll benefit from notes and documents that are well organized and presented in a visually pleasing way. Here are some tips you can follow to study effectively:
- Carefully organize your learning space to avoid any visual distractions.
- Utilize visually stimulating materials like highlighters, underlining and illustrations etc. in your lessons.
- Always have a notepad or some empty pages nearby. You can imprint your lessons onto your visual memory through written repetitions, doodling, notes, etc.
- Be mindful of the way your lessons are presented. For visual learners, it is important for the lessons to be laid out in well written or carefully typed out documents.
How can a tutor help visual learners?
For students who are visual learners, a tutor may teach through visually stimulating tools like flash cards, images, illustrations, color-coded notes, visually instructive boards, videos, etc.
Do you comprehend and process information better when you hear it out loud? Do you prefer listening to audio books and audio messages over reading? If so, then there’s a good chance you’re an auditory learner. This type of learner will be able to retain a piece of information better by listening rather than reading it. So an auditory learner will easily understand and memorize lessons through verbal lectures without reading long paragraphs and taking down notes. If this describes your learning style, here’s what you can do:
- Learn in a quiet environment to avoid auditory distractions. Stay away from the TV, music or other people engaging in conversation.
- Try to avoid open doors or windows where noises could enter the classroom.
- Record class lectures and tutorials.
- If you don’t have access to a dedicated quiet study space, try to invest in noise cancelling headphones or earphones to listen to recordings and other audio materials.
- Always review certain details and make sure your recollection is accurate.
- Utilize memorization techniques that rely on auditory cues like mnemonics, jingles, rhymes, etc.
How can a tutor help auditory learners?
Someone tutoring a student with auditory learning style will try to provide audio materials like audio notes, audio books, etc. Moreover, with online tutoring the student may just record and review the class on their phones or computers without the need for voice recording. This will provide a much clearer recording than manually recorded classroom lectures.
Kinesthetic or physical learners are those who learn best through hands-on lessons and activities. Rather than just sitting in the classroom listening to lectures and reading notes, this type of learner prefers learning through physical activities. Since this learning style is less traditional, kinesthetic learners often struggle in classrooms that follow traditional teaching models. Here are a few tips you can employ to enhance your learning experience:
- Opt for classrooms or learning spaces with sufficient physical learning tools and activities.
- Don’t hesitate to take breaks from your reading space to keep your body engaged. Occasionally stretching or exercising will prevent your mind from going numb after sitting at a desk for too long.
- Engage in physical activities like pacing or spelling out words with your fingers while learning.
- Sign up for field trips and educational tours.
- Use plays and skits to act out your lessons.
- Build models and dioramas.
- Seek out ways to apply your lessons, be it through verbal discussions or science projects.
How can a tutor help kinesthetic learners?
Unlike regular classrooms, a tutor can employ several physically stimulating teaching tools and methods to keep the kinesthetic learner fully engaged.
4) Logical (Mathematical)
One of the most apparent factors when identifying logical learners is their mathematical skill. If a student is good with numbers and can easily solve complex equations, they’re most probably a logical learner. People who fit under this category can easily figure out patterns and puzzles and will apply reasoning and deduction in their lessons. Instead of memorizing facts and figures, they prefer to figure out and analyze how things work, draw connections and make conclusions based on logical reasoning. So what’s the best way a logical learner can make use of their reasoning skills in their lessons? Here are a few tips to follow:
- Don’t rely on memorization. Whatever piece of information you consume, try to figure out the whys and wherefores, even going beyond classroom lectures.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Instead of trying to just soak up teachings as they are presented. If you’re having issues understanding the logic behind something, ask questions to your teachers or tutors so you can have a deeper knowledge of the material.
- When taking notes, make sure to highlight on the key points.
- Instead of simply trying to memorize facts and figures, make up associations in your mind to help with your recollection.
How can a tutor help logical learners?
For logical learners, a tutor can teach the lesson through puzzles and problem solving exercises. Besides, a dedicated tutor to answer all their queries and delve deeper into significant topics will significantly benefit their learning experience.
5) Verbal (Linguistic)
Verbal or Linguistic learners learn best through words. This type of learner processes information easily through reading and writing, loves learning new words and playing with words. If you have an extensive vocabulary, enjoy flipping through dictionaries and thesauruses to expand your vocabulary and love playing with words through puns, rhyming, tongue twisters, etc. you most likely fit under this category. Verbal learners will benefit from making use of their fondness of words to better understand and memorize their lessons in the follow way:
- Read and reread. For someone who enjoys reading, reading notes and textbooks may not seem like a chore like it is for some others. Make use of this natural affinity you have toward reading.
- Write and rewrite. Take down notes in the classroom, review and rewrite your notes to better familiarize yourself with the lessons.
- Engage in verbal discussions and debates to deepen and widen your knowledge.
- Use verbal learning techniques like rhyming, role-play, mnemonics, etc.
How can a tutor help verbal/linguistic learners?
If you’re a verbal learner, hiring a tutor to engage in verbal discussions and role-play with will seriously improve your learning experience. A tutor will also help you come up with verbal memorization devices like rhymes and mnemonics and will create multiple notes for you to read.
Unlike the previously mentioned styles which focus on techniques and methods in which a learner absorbs and retains information, the interpersonal and intrapersonal categories focus on the learner’s surroundings and whether a learner learns best alone or with other people. The intrapersonal or solitary learner is someone who prefers to learn alone rather than in a group. If you can focus best when studying privately without others around to distract you, you’re an intrapersonal learner.
Intrapersonal learners are usually highly introspective, with the “sensitivity to one’s own feelings, goals and anxieties, and the capacity to plan and act in light of one’s own traits” (Gardner) and have excellent concentration skills when placed in the right environment. Here are some ways an intrapersonal learner can best utilize their concentration skills:
- Focus on making your learning space comfortable, quiet and free from distractions.
- Set a clear personal goal and interest.
- Carefully plan out your lessons. Make sure you’re covering all the bases so your study session can run smoothly once you get in the zone.
- Note down any doubts or issues so you can later clarify them with the help of your teacher or tutor.
- Keep a journal. Maintaining a journal outside your normal class notebook will not only provide you a good outlet for your personal ideas and challenges but will also allow you to introspect and self-analyze.
How can a tutor help intrapersonal learners?
If you’re an intrapersonal learner, you may not be the most participative student in the classroom, so whatever issues you have but don’t bring up with your teacher or classmates can be easily solved and cleared up with your tutor.
Unlike intrapersonal learners, this type of learners process information best through interacting with other people. Group activities like discussions, debates, workshops, seminars, etc. make the best learning environment for interpersonal learners.
Interpersonal learners are sensitive to other people’s moods, temperaments, feelings, etc. and therefore, make excellent teachers and guides. If you consider yourself an intrapersonal learner, you can make use of your social intelligence for your personal enrichment by following some of these tips:
- Try to connect and discuss lessons with your classmates so you can have the chance to talk out what you’ve learned, clarify doubts and solve problems together.
- Don’t shy away from participating in class. Engage with your teacher, tutor or classmates to allow yourself the space to learn as much as possible.
- Sign up for group activities like workshops, seminars, debates, excursions, etc. that will allow you to learn with and from your peers.
- Make sure you surround yourself with people who can enrich your mind and widen your knowledge.
- Form a study group with likeminded peers.
How can a tutor help interpersonal learners?
For interpersonal learners, think of your tutor as a personal learning buddy with a ton of knowledge to provide. You can discuss your lessons with your tutor who will let you know how accurately you understand it and help you solve issues and doubts.
Finding the right kind of learning help
Since every student has their own unique way of learning, it’s crucial that they identify their personal learning style and employ techniques that fit their style. Once you’ve identified your learning style, all you have to do is figure out the right way to learn.
For some learners, you may find typical classroom teaching insufficient to help you reach your full learning potential. If that’s the case, what you need is a tutor who will create the best learning space for you and incorporate specific techniques based on your personal learning style. With the wide range of highly qualified tutors out there, you can find the perfect match for you without much effort.