When it comes to learning, there is no “one size fits all” approach. Each child has their own style, as well as preference, as to how they pick up information. Adapting teaching methods to match a child’s learning style, can optimise their learning and development.
It is, therefore, important to firstly identify and understand the type of learner your child is in order to unlock their full potential. Parents and teachers alike have seen the dramatic changes when students are able to learn with their preferred method, as this allows them to maximise the time spent on learning, and also to identify study techniques to learn and revise more efficiently as well as effectively.
Exposing children to a variety of learning techniques, is the first step to, as not only does it allow your child to independently decide what kind of learner they are, but it will make them a well-rounded learner. In fact, recent studies have shown that a mixture of learning strategies is the best approach. However, it is acknowledged that their learning styles can also vary on the subject. A child might be an auditory learner in English but might be a visual learner when it comes to maths. Having exposure to a variety of learning methods will allow them to vary their learning styles, that will ultimately lead to development of more refined learning styles and complex thought patterns and processing.
There are 4 main learning methods that we will discuss: visual, auditory, tactile, and kinaesthetic.
VISUAL: learning by seeing
We have all heard at one point or another that some people are “visual learners.” Whether it be a teacher telling us to try and write our notes as a mind map, or using image association to learn a new topic, visual learning can take on many forms. What we often overlook is how visual learning is second nature. From a young age, we use visual learning to widen our knowledge and carry this on into adult life, for example, when responding to facial and body expressions. Children that respond more actively to visual cues and benefit from the use of colours and distinct images will often be visual learners.
Are you a Visual Learner? If more than 5 of the points below apply to you, it’s very likely you prefer to learn by seeing:
- Visual learners need to see the information in order to learn it
- They take on information better if it is presented in a visually appealing way
- They prefer images, graphs, colours and diagrams to learn ideas and concepts
- These are often students who like to doodle, make lists and make their notes colourful and visually aesthetic
- Visual learners may also focus on tone, brightness, contrast and special awareness of the learning material
- Many are thought to have photographic memory
- Examples of visual learning include watching a video, watching a live demonstration, using diagrams for instructions, looking at graphs and charts to visualize statistics etc
AUDITORY: learning by hearing
Auditory learning is another common phrase we hear used. This learning method often goes hand in hand with visual learning by watching videos or having someone talk through a concept with the help of a written example. If you notice that your child enjoys being part of discussions and responds well to auditory cues, it is likely that they would benefit from an auditory learning method. This learning method can be integrated by having your child participate in discussions and talking about topics as they work through them. Naturally, it is much easier for an auditory learner to get distracted in a noisy environment, so children that are auditory learners will benefit greatly from having a quiet workspace.
Are you a Auditory Learner? If more than 5 of the points below apply to you, it’s very likely you prefer to learn by hearing:
- Preferring to listen to lecture as opposed to writing down notes or any sort of writing
- Preferring to speak out concepts to solidify understanding
- Preferring to speaking out loud to digest the content better and make sense of a subject
- Opting to read out loud
- Having the natural ability to effectively explain concepts and ideas verbally – for example enjoying conversations about a topic, like through a debate
- Auditory learners also find teaching others a way of learning as they speak it out themselves
- Having better retention of knowledge and facts through audio lessons e.g podcasts, YouTube videos etc
- Responding well and able to better understand concepts through verbal feedback
KINAESTHETIC: learning by doing
Kinaesthetic is lesser-known learning type but surprisingly common in the modern classroom. Kinaesthetic learners absorb information through doing, they utilise their whole body and all their surroundings when taking in new information. They learn best in a multi-sensory environment which will actively engage them in their learning as opposed to traditional learning settings. Teaching with this method in mind involves integrating hands-on’ experiences, having a practical aspect or including movement which will work best for kinaesthetic learners.
Are you a Kinaesthetic Learner? If more than 5 of the points below apply to you, it’s very likely you prefer to learn by doing:
- Enjoying hands-on instruction, manipulatives, role-playing or building things when it comes to learning
- Touch and movement being a key aspect of processing information
- Understand more when learning through hands-on, practical experience
- Becoming easily bored in a traditional classroom
- Preferring sport or physical activity
- Being an active participant in learning, rather than a passive observer
- Enjoying opportunities to go on excursions or be outside the classroom
- Has a preference or showing inclination in testing, experimenting, and creating
A tactile learner learns things by touch. This can be witnessed in a similar way as kinaesthetic learners, as they are both very hands on when it comes to their learning and processing, enjoying the non-traditional learning environment, which includes more physical activity. One key aspect that differs tactile and kinaesthetic learners, is that tactile learners, more specifically, will often communicate with touch and respond better to touch. This can involve positive physical communication, such as a pat on the back, when it comes to learning.
Are you a Tactile Learner? If more than 5 of the points below apply to you, it’s very likely you prefer to learn through touch.
- The tendency or preference to write things down or take notes when learning.
- Having the tendency to doodle and draw
- Enjoying activities like reading books, writing stories, and illustrating
- A preference in activities that involve touching, building, moving, or drawing, this can also involve a preference for activities like completing art projects, taking walks, or acting out stories
- Using items like flashcards
- Find that methods like tracing words with a finger, to master things like spelling, better than memorisation
- Preferring to use a computer to reinforce learning through the sense of touch
If you want to find out what kind of learner your child is, book in a free evaluation session to discover your child’s best learning method today.