7 Learning Styles and Their Benefits

Everyone learns differently. We all have our own methods of doing things and have probably already worked out how we learn best. But did you know that the different learning styles are recognised separately? Over the last few decades cognitive research has revealed that there isn’t a particularly right or wrong way to learn; we just have differing strengths and weaknesses.

A psychological theory developed by Howard Gardner in the 70s and 80s proposed the idea that we have ‘multiple intelligences’, and critiqued the assumption that there is a single intelligence. Gardner essentially suggested that humans have several other intellectual capacities, which could explain why the person who sits next to you in lectures learns in a completely different manner to you.

Research has shown there are 7 different learning styles
This is particularly interesting for those studying or learning a new skill, as you may find a different learning style could be more helpful than your current method.

People who learn by this method are generally very aware of their environment and think in terms of physical space. They can often be taught through drawings or other imagery such as graphics, charts, photos or even 3D models.

Often known simply as ‘visual’ learning, people who adopt this style react well to images, more so than any other learning method.

Otherwise known as ‘physical’ learning, people of this particular style learn by doing. They tend to learn through using physical objects or doing something such as drawing diagrams. This is a much more hands-on approach than other learning styles.

Maybe a more obvious style, people who use this approach prefer using sounds such as rhymes, recordings or music. They might study better with music playing in the background, and they can often be taught well by turning information into lyrics or a clever rhyme to remember things better.

Learning through this method includes interaction with others. Often taught through group activities, seminars or other similar environments, people who learn interpersonally have an ability to understand people and social situations.

This is the opposite of interpersonal learning; people who learn by an intrapersonal style are the most independent learners. Preferring to work alone, they reflect on their own thoughts and are often very intuitive and motivated. The intrapersonal approach means that you understand your own interests and are in tune with your goals.

People who learn linguistically prefer using words, either in spoken or written form. They often learn better through reading, taking part in word games, and will often use multimedia devices to help them progress. Linguistic learners often think in words and might make up poems or stories to help them learn and remember better.

Logical, or mathematical, learners turn to a more reasoning approach. They are able to see and explore patterns, and enjoy solving puzzles or experimenting. They turn to systems to explain concepts and can often see the bigger picture.

Learning styles are highly complex but it shows us how different everyone can be, and how important it is to embrace your learning style and find the right methods that work for you. If you are studying for important exams, or you are trying to learn new skills in your current job, understanding your learning style could help.

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