According to Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, everybody has different types of learning styles to help them comprehend new information.
As a Parent or a Teacher, it’s important to have a good understanding of each of these types of learning styles so that one can help the children take the most out of the class.
Visual or Spatial Learner
Visual or spatial learning is a learning style that requires visual aids, images, diagrams or graphs to help retain information and guide the learning process. A pictures speaks a thousand words to these children. They find simplicity in pictures and colours.
Visual learners tend to veer towards technology-driven careers, as well as industries related to art, photography, architecture and design. The ability to learn through imagery is essential.
Ways to Help Visual Learners Retain Information
- Use charts, graphs, maps, diagrams, timelines and infographics
- Replace words with colours and images
- Stay away from blocks of text, focusing on one idea at a time
- Highlight important points in colour
Reading / Writing or Linguistic or Verbal Learner
Linguistic or verbal learning is the need to learn information through reading, writing, listening and speaking. They prefer self-made notes and creating an information bank. They highlight, edit and rewrite important points in their notes. Such students also prefer solving previous exam papers and multiple choice questions.
Verbal learners often have an excellent memory, and many become teachers and professors.
Ways to Help Linguistic Learners Retain Information
- Create a handout summarizing your presentation to give to your audience
- List out keywords on your slides
- Use acronym mnemonics as teaching devices
- Separate your audience into groups for discussion questions
Auditory or Aural or Musical Learner
If they are not listening, they are not learning. These kids love to listen. They pay attention to the tone, pitch, volume of the teacher in class and prefer audio recordings of lessons to get clarity. Club the audio recording with music and get surprised by your child’s attention level. Auditory or musical learning circles around sound, music and rhythm to help retain information.
These types of learners often become musicians as they have a deeper understanding of music.
- Hold discussions and debates
- Speak clearly so your audience can hear you
- Incorporate background music into your presentation
- Create jingles or rhymes to help teach information
Kinaesthetic or Physical Learner
Tell them to read or write about a concept, they won’t be interested. But involve them in projects, demonstrations, role plays of the same concept and see how their enthusiasm level goes up. Kinesthetic or physical learning requires the learner to be hands on in order to understand the process and retain information.
Kinesthetic learners love artsy, creative or athletic careers, and will often have hobbies in jewellery-making, gardening, woodworking and outlets like that.
Ways to Help Kinesthetic Learners Retain Information
- Bring volunteers onstage to assist with demonstrations
- Provide step-by-steps for audience members to do something on their own
- Give out worksheets with fill in the blanks from your session
- Incorporate learning games into your talk
Logical or Mathematical Learner
Logical Learners look for patterns and connections even in irrelevant information. They can’t blindly memorise a term. They love logical examples or statistics to help them understand a complicated problem. If they understand the logic behind a mathematical equation, they can even surprise you by solving a complex calculation manually.
Logical learners tend to go on to be engineers, mathematicians, and scientists, and are often very good at playing strategy games like chess and backgammon.
Ways to Help Logical Learners Retain Information
Share the key concepts behind lessons instead of fun facts
Play a game with the audience during your presentation
Provide specific goals for your audience to achieve with your information
Share how pieces of your information relate to each other
Intrapersonal or Solitary Learner
Intrapersonal or solitary learning includes people who learn and work best on their own. They are very introspective and reflective and prefer to sit alone and focus their thoughts on the topic at hand. They like to keep a log / journal / diary to write about their personal thoughts and feelings. They are very independent and prefer positions without direct leadership or supervision.
Intrapersonal learners are very likely to enter creative fields and even become entrepreneurs or small business owners.
Ways to Help Intrapersonal Learners Retain Information
- Don’t make discussion groups mandatory
- Provide notepads for audience members to take notes
- Put together charts for mapping progress in your topic
- Create study guides for audience members to work on later
Interpersonal or Social Learner
Interpersonal or social learning means this type of learner performs best when they’re able to relate to others and work in group situations. They learn to study in groups and love talking to others to get clarity. They even prefer spending a lot of one-on-one time with the teacher. So if you find your child surrounded with friends with a text book in hand. Don’t advise him/her to study alone.
These types of learners need to be able to bounce ideas off of others and interact with others. They’re much better at reading emotions and facial expressions and are often extroverts.
Interpersonal learners might become psychologists or social workers, and enjoy positions where they’re working with people.
Ways to Help Interpersonal Learners Retain Information
- Break your audience off into groups
- Role play with the audience to demonstrate processes
- Allow audience members to ask questions at the end
- Offer the opportunity to schedule one-on-one time with you
Naturalistic learning focuses on the need to be outside in nature to guide the learning process. These types of learners prefer to be out of doors, observing how things work in nature. Unsurprisingly, those with this learning style often end up becoming scientists or horticulturists.
Connect with naturalistic learners by offering one-on-one sessions outside or allow students to work outside regularly.
Ways to Help Naturalistic Learners Retain Information
- Consider hosting classes or talks outside
- Create guides for how to learn more about your topic out of doors
- Explain how your audience can observe your topic in the real world
- Work one-on-one with audience members outside