06 Dec What To Know About Learning Styles
Understanding your child’s learning style can help you support their academic journey. In fact, many teacher training programs now incorporate the learning styles hypothesis into their curricula to prepare teachers to work with various learning styles in the classroom.
This article discusses common learning styles and provides ways to help your children adapt to their learning styles from the start.
Where Learning Styles Came From
Learning styles as a concept first emerged in 334 BC when Aristotle proposed the theory that every child possessed specific talents and skills. He acknowledged that children differed in many ways, and scholars started creating their ideas based on this concept.
In 1987, Neil Fleming developed the VARK hypothesis, which stands for visual, auditory, reading, and kinesthetic. The VARK model categorizes learners based on their preferred learning style:
- Visual learner (pictures, graphs, and movies)
- Auditory learner (lectures, music, and conversation)
- Learner of reading and writing (list-making, textbook reading, note-taking)
- Kinesthetic learner (practical exercises, experiments)
Fleming believed that being aware of various learning styles, especially our own, can help us learn more effectively. By embracing different learning styles, we can expand our knowledge and skills and become lifelong learners.
Finding Your Child's Learning Style Is Essential for Learning and Development
Understanding your child’s learning style is essential to provide them with the best possible education. By identifying how your child learns best, you can customize their educational experiences to suit their individual preferences.
Research shows that children comprehend and retain information better when it aligns with their learning style, resulting in improved academic performance, motivation, and confidence. Observe your child’s learning habits and preferences, and work with their teachers to create a customized learning plan for their success.
Ways to help children adapt their learning better from an early age
Understanding and implementing different learning styles can be crucial in enhancing children’s learning experiences and teaching effectiveness. Learning styles refer to the unique ways children acquire, process, and retain information. We can create a more constructive learning environment by tailoring teaching methods to suit these styles.
Here’s how learning styles can be put to use in an educational environment:
- Diverse Instructional Methods:
We admit that kids have different tastes when it comes to learning. Teachers can use various teaching strategies to meet the needs of diverse learning styles. It is best to provide interactive discussions for auditory learners, hands-on exercises for kinesthetic learners, and visual aids (charts, graphs, and movies) for visual learners.
- Customized Learning Materials:
Teachers use different formats to provide learning materials that cater to various learning styles. These formats may include written notes, audio recordings, and visual presentations. By offering a mix of resources, children can engage with the material in ways that align with their preferred learning style. This approach helps to ensure that all students have equal opportunities to learn and succeed.
- Flexible Assessments:
Design assessments that cater to diverse learning styles. Use written exams for readers and writers, oral presentations for auditory learners, and hands-on projects for kinesthetic learners. Flexibility in assessment methods allows students to showcase their understanding in ways that are most comfortable and effective for them.
- Multisensory Teaching:
Multisensory Teaching reinforces understanding through different sensory channels by incorporating visuals, spoken instructions, and hands-on activities in a single lesson, catering to a broader range of learning styles.
- Choice in Learning Activities:
Providing children autonomy in selecting learning activities and assignments will enable them to align with their preferred learning style.
- Learning Style Surveys:
Learning style surveys can help children identify their preferred learning styles, empowering them to communicate their preferences to teachers and seek effective learning strategies.
- Flexible Learning Environment Setup:
Provide a flexible learning area accommodating different learning styles, including spaces for hands-on activities, quiet reading and group work. This allows children to choose environments that suit their individual preferences.
- Technology Integration:
Use educational apps for interactive learning (kinesthetic), provide video lectures for visual learners, and incorporate podcasts or audio materials for auditory learners.
- Reflection and Feedback:
Encourage children to reflect on their learning preferences and provide feedback on effective instructional methods. Teachers can adjust their teaching strategies to meet every child’s needs better.
Although the learning style model remains useful, teachers must keep up with the latest research on instruction and learning. Educators can create more inclusive and effective learning experiences by acknowledging various learning styles. Recognizing the diversity of children’s preferences and applying different teaching strategies can significantly contribute to improved comprehension, engagement, and retention of information.