People have different learning styles and typically utilize one primarily style when learning. Most people ages 40 and over may not have heard of different learning styles. When they were in school they had the chalkboard, textbooks to read and papers to write. Research over the past thirty or so years has introduced the idea that there are three main learning styles that utilize the senses of the body to garner information.
1. Visual Learner-This type of learner understands information better when he or she can see it. His or her eyes are her primary sensor. These people may think in pictures or see words in their mind’s eye and prefer to be able to see a person’s body language and facial expressions while engaged in dialogue. These learners will gain a lot of information from videos, books, chalkboard/dry erase board, pictures, maps and other visual media. Field trips to museums are typically great experiences for visual type learners.
2. Auditory Learner-Does your child talk non-stop? There might be a good chance that he or she is an auditory learner. This type of learner will stay engaged in the learning process through lectures, audio tapes, use of musical instruments, and a lot of opportunities for discussion. The primary sensors are his or her ears. According to a website about learning styles and multiple intelligences “Auditory learners interpret the underlying meanings of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch, speed and other nuances. Written information may have little meaning until it is heard. These learners often benefit from reading text aloud and using a tape recorder.”
3. Hands On or Tactile or Kinesthetic Learners will utilize their hands as their primary sensors. This does not mean that this type of learner needs to touch everything in order to have a high level of understanding, but they do like to perform activities. Often the child in this category will have a difficulty sitting for long periods of time because he or she is antsy and wants to get up and do something. These types of learners do well on field trips that can incorporate learning about real life jobs. In addition hands on learners love to do puzzles, take nature walks while drawing what they see, and doing hands on science experiments.
A child can utilize one or more of these learning styles, although they will tend to have one primary style. Of course the primary style can change over time, or due to environmental and many other factors. Understanding how your child learns can help to facilitate an effective education.