Learning Style: Meaning & Significance

According to the concept of learning styles, pupils may be categorized into many categories depending on their distinct methods of exploring. Pupils will learn more effectively if they are taught methods matched to their preferred method of absorbing knowledge.

Meaning of Learning Style

Individuals have preferences for various learning environments, referred to as learning styles or learning preferences. Learning style theories acknowledge that people learn differently and that each person has a distinct learning style. You have probably observed that some pupils learn better in the morning, while others prefer to study at night. Some pupils like to learn in calm locations, while others prefer to learn while listening to music. Many students indicate that they learn best when sitting at the dining table and consuming snacks while studying. Students who live in joint homes have learning patterns established in public areas. Thus, learning styles can range from simple preferences for physical environments to more fundamental distinctions founded in culture or personality.

Individual personality characteristics also influence how different students approach the same learning activity. The depth to which people digest the information they acquire is one such personality variance in learning style. Some people employ a 'deep-processing approach,' in which they seek the underlying concepts and meanings of what they are attempting to learn. Others employ a surface-processing approach, emphasizing memorization over analysis and comprehension. People who use a surface approach are often driven by achieving excellent grades and other external benefits.

In contrast, those who take a deep approach, like studying for learning, are less bothered with external assessments. Educational psychologists have investigated many additional distinctions in learning styles. Consider how you memorize the names of new individuals you meet. Do you remember a name better if it has been written down? If this describes you, you may be a visual learner who learns best by seeing or reading. You may be an auditory learner if you learn best by listening. Field reliance versus field independence is another pattern of learning methods. Field-dependent people view patterns as a whole and struggle to separate specific components of a scenario or pattern. In contrast, field-independent people can identify the parts that make up a vast pattern. Persons and social interactions are more important to field-dependent ones than field-independent people.

For example, they are better at retaining social information such as talks and relationships, enjoy working in groups, and like subjects such as history and literature. Field-independent people are more likely to excel at math, science, and problem-solving. Another key cognitive style distinction is 'impulsivity' versus reflectivity. Impulsive people work fast and make hasty judgments, whereas introspective people take their time and evaluate all options.

VARK- Modalities of Learning

When it comes to preferred exploring techniques, there are three sorts of pupils: some who learn best visually, a few who learn better auditory, and pupils who learn better via hands-on experience. VARK stands for the four major exploring styles: vision, auditory, reading/writing preference, & kinesthetic. The VAK model is another name for the VARK model that does not include Reading/Writing as just a preferred exploring method. According to the VARK model, different pupils have various "preferred exploring modes" for absorbing and comprehending new data.

Visual Method

Pictures, images, colors, and mind maps are said to help those who learn best by sight, or "visual," recall knowledge. The icons above summarize the most important features of the various exploring approaches.

Kinaesthetic Method

Physical activity is crucial to the exploring process for kinaesthetic learners, so the belief goes. They may learn more effectively via role acting, visual aids like flashcards, and hands-on practice. Try making a seven-sided dice to test whether exploring via physical activity improves memory.

Auditory Method

Listening to and participating in group conversations and lectures are ideal exploring environments for auditory learners. Aural learners employ mnemonic devices to retain data and rely on the tried-and-true repetition method.

Reading and Writing

Words are the most effective means of communication for exploring for pupils who have a strong propensity for reading and writing. These kids can take abstract ideas and put them into words and writings, so one can mistake them for people who take many notes or are big readers.

Approaches to Exploring through the Senses

Various approaches to education that rely on the senses are grouped under the sensory umbrella, and these may be broken down further into visual/temporal, auditory/musical, and kinesthetic categories. According to research on sensory exploring types, approximately 65% of the population are visual learners, 30% are auditory learners, and 5% are kinaesthetic learners. Many children, however, exhibit characteristics of more than one exploring the style.

Pupils Who Excel in Geometric Exploring

People who learn best via visualization are temporal learners. Stacy Mantle, an educator, describes visual learners as those who are "good with colors and pictures and using the mind's eye." Gardner, a psychologist, notes that visual learners' problem-solving skills are applicable in the fields of navigation and map reading because they rely on temporal understanding. Exploring this also aids in chess play and the ability to imagine an item from several perspectives.

People Who Learn Best through Music

Auditory-musical learners are receptive to beat and melody as they absorb new knowledge. They can identify subtle differences in tones, rhythms, and pitches. Whether the music is good or terrible, they have an instant reaction to it, and they are more attuned to the sounds of nature and their surroundings than their peers, according to Gilam's research on many types of intelligence. Listening to music while studying or writing notes in rhyme are two effective strategies for auditory-musical learners.

Persons Who Learn Best Through Movement

People who learn best via touch and movement are called kinaesthetic learners. Experts in these fields, such as dancers and surgeons, benefit from exploring via movement. These individuals learn best through doing; teaching them requires demonstration and practice. Mantle claims that kinaesthetic learners are often misdiagnosed with ADHD because they have more energy than other learners

Impulsivity Vs. Reflectivity in Learning Styles

J. Kagan (1971) proposed this dimension of learning styles based on Matching Familiar Figures Test results. In this exam, respondents must match a recognizable figure with one of the six supplied figures. Kagan discovered that introspective youngsters consider all options and tend to be abstract in their preferences. Impulsive youngsters, on the other hand, respond intuitively and frequently test hypotheses in real life. As instructors, we are all too acquainted with impetuous kids as well as those who are contemplative. Impulsive pupils are eager to respond, often even before the teacher has finished the inquiry.

Conversely, reflective pupils pause before responding. Impulsive pupils rush through the exam paper, take more chances, use guesswork, and make more mistakes. While impulsive kids often score better on speed exams, reflective students are skilled at solving issues that need thought and reconstruction.


There is a dearth of research supporting the efficacy of these exploring styles, yet despite this, they continue to be highly popular and employed in classrooms throughout the nation. "Parents, naturally, prefer to assume that young children are getting a personalized education," claims the author of a wired piece. It is also understandable that educators would want to believe that they are attentive to the needs of each student in their classroom. Many educators are driven by a desire to learn more about how to achieve this goal. While it is important to adapt lessons to the needs of pupils, it is counterproductive to label them as either visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or kinesthetic learners to avoid encouraging them to broaden their approach to exploring.

Updated on: 16-Jan-2023


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