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The Importance of Learning Styles

Every student is different and certain teaching methods and strategies may not work for each student. This is why it is important to understand and learn what you or your child's learning style is when tackling subjects! Learning styles can even shift across different subjects but once they are discovered it makes learning easier and more enjoyable. Let's break down some common learning styles and if any sound like you make sure to take a mental note.

What is a learning style? 
A style of learning refers to an individual's preferred way to absorb, process, comprehend, and retain information.

What are some common types of learning styles?
There are four predominant learning styles which include: Visual, Auditory, Read/Write, and Kinaesthetic. Let's break them down.
  • Visual learners learn through looking. They are intrigued by diagrams, charts, pictures, etc. When reading passages or questions these learners should take physical notes utilizing different colors and symbols to help them comprehend what they are looking at. When they are trying to recall something they read or saw earlier they are more inclined to remember the image they associated the topic or word rather than trying to memorize and ultimately forget what they read.
  • Auditory learners learn through listening. It is best for these students to talk out their thought processes and hear how others reached their conclusion. This is how they are able to map things out in their head. Some helpful tools for auditory learning are recording their notes and listening to them later.
  • Read/Write learners learn through reading and writing. Using strategies such as making lists or re-writing notes is helpful for these students. Repetition would also be helpful as they write down the same word multiple times getting in the habit of memorizing what they wrote.
  • Kinaesthetic learners learn through doing. They are able to utilize their senses to help them retain information such as creating a dance to help them remember the bones in their body. These students would also benefit from referencing real-life examples when trying to process new concepts. 

Why are learning styles important?
Learning styles are important because it impacts how a student should be taught in order to promote their ability to grasp the information. The level of success of the student often falls into line with their ability to recognize their learning style and effectively use it in the classroom. Often times students can feel defeated or interested in certain topics and subjects but there is probably a link between their learning style and the way that topic is being taught that is causing the disinterest. 

What is your learning style?
Take a quiz to see if you are able to identify you or your child's learning style, but remember it does not have to be an exclusive style and can change across different academic subjects. The next time the student feels defeated or unable to grasp a concept try altering the approach to learning the topic.

Here is a list of free recommended quizzes!
Darielle M
Experienced English and Writing Tutor
University of California, Riverside
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