|Children have different ways of understanding or processing the things that they learn. / Photo by: Getty Images|
Everyone has different ways on how they learn. Some like studying with the radio or television on, some like taking notes, others like to do it in silence. These are called learning styles. According to Teach, a person’s learning style pertains to the way he is inclined to grasp, understand and process everything he learns. The learning style of a person is based on his intellectual, environmental and emotional aspects, including his own experiences. There is a need for parents and teachers to understand the different learning styles of the children they teach so as to incorporate different methods of teaching and strategies for better learning.
Understanding the VARK Model
Educational theorist Neil Fleming introduced the VARK Model of Student Learning. VARK stands for the four types of learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing preference, and Kinesthetic. The VARK Model is also known as the VAK Model, removing the Reading/Writing as a classification for preferential learning.
Researchers have discovered that learning styles have a substantial effect on the students’ learning and behavior. Their confidence and motivation to learn, comprehension and metacognition are also better developed when they gain information using their preferred learning style.
Identifying the Different Learning Styles
Visual Learning Style. This is also known as the spatial learning style. Students who are visual learners choose to learn through the usage of pictures, images, and graphic organizers to better understand the lesson. They understand and retain information when they actually see them. In order to picture something, they tend to close their eyes to recall information. Students also look at their teacher’s face attentively and love to look at books and wall displays. They may have trouble with spoken instructions and be quickly distracted by sounds.
Tips on how to help visual learners. According to Kumon, you have to create chances for the students to draw diagrams and graphic organizers on the board or ask students to sketch samples of the subject they are studying. Presentations and handouts also greatly help the students to learn better. Allow the students to have some time to work through the material since they need to observe first visual cues before they process the information.
Auditory Learning Style. Students who are auditory learners learn best through hearing and listening. They read out loud to so they can hear it, and use repetition as a strategy for studying. They would also want their teacher to give verbal directions and use teaching methods like group discussions and dialogues. They prefer to use sound as a memory aid and would benefit most from mnemonic devices.
Tips on how to help auditory learners. Let the auditory learners rehash or reiterate important concepts of the topic or have group discussions so they can better understand the lesson. Auditory learners also find listening to music or audiotapes or watching videos to be beneficial in learning.
|Auditory learners are those type of students who understands the lessons through listening or hearing. / Photo by: Cathy Yeulet via 123rf|
Reading and Writing Learning Style. Learners with a strong preference for reading and writing best learn by using words. They take extensive notes about the subject and are very passionate readers. They also have the capability to interpret theoretical concepts into words and essays.
Tips on how to help reading and writing learners. Give a lot of time for these learners to assimilate and understand the written word. Provide opportunities for them to write what they have learned through note taking, or copying notes from the board. Let them learn through reading materials, doing research online and writing essays and reviews.
Kinesthetic Learning Style. Kinesthetic learners comprehend what they are learning through touching and doing. They are practical learners or what we call “hands-on” when it comes to studying meaning they would learn information through building or drawing the things they have learned. They quickly remember information if they have done it, rather than seeing or hearing its process. Touch is their main form of communication and responds well to physical encouragement like a pat on the back.
Tips on how to help kinesthetic learners. Since movement is the method these students learn best, educators can let them act out what they are learning. When studying literature or history, let them create a short play. Play games and let them move so they can better understand the lesson you are teaching.
Recognizing what are the learning styles of your students can significantly influence their capacity to relate to the subjects they are learning and their cooperation inside the classroom. Being aware of these can help students to absorb the information quickly and easily. Remember that a student may apply different styles while he is learning since no child is restricted to one learning style. It is best that the parents and the teacher work together to understand the student’s strengths and enhance them, as well as their and weaknesses to improve the learning of the students.