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Learning Styles

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Sally Barton

on 26 January 2016

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Transcript of Learning Styles

The Mathematical/Logical learning style, unlike Visual, Aural, Read/Write and Kinaesthetic does not form part of the VAK/VARK model but is one of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and a modality in the Memletic system.

“Research shows us that each learning style uses different part of the brain, the style Logical. The parietal lobes, especially the left side, drive our logical thinking.” (Whitely S 2003, cited in Ing D 2012)
There-fore, the learning style for a logical learner is based on logical and mathematical reasoning.

Examples include; analysing problems, detecting patterns, mathematical calculations, scientific rationalisation and understanding relationships between cause and effects.

Logical learners often develop procedures, processes and systems, that can then be used in future applications. They will use logical explanations and support their points with information and statistics. (advanogy.com, 2004)

They like to create strategies and logical processes, enabling them to reach clear outcomes and goals, often through the creation of agenda’s and lists.

They can work alone or in groups, as long as the environment they are working within is well structured and organised.

Learning Styles

Visual learning is a part of the three basic types of learning styles in the VAK/VARK model authored, by Neil D. Fleming. This type of learner is able to use their vision to learn and understand, “The visual learner remembers 75% of what they read or see" ("whatismylearningstyle.com", 2014). A visual learner will usually have a preference to write rather than listen, as they have a hard time paying attention and remembering when only listening to directions.

Visual learning can assist to increase the learner’s interest in a specific topic, making the learning process more enjoyable; which helps to hold the learner’s attention for a longer period. This type of learner prefers to take notes, seek clarification and study alone rather than in a group of people. They are also good at spelling and need a quiet place to study.

A visual learner is able to use recollection to remember a picture or a cue, associated to what they have learned. Although they are not able to retain as much information as if they were taught from a text or from someone speaking (smith, n.d.). School’s throughout the country use visual learning techniques to achieve course goals and improve the student’s performance to help them accomplish a successful grade.

A learning style which takes a more ‘hands-on’ approach is Kinesthetic Learning, sometimes referred to as Physical Learning. It is a learning style which requires manipulating or touching material to learn, this can at times be combined with auditory and/or visual learning styles which creates a multi-sensory learning experience (Kinesthetic-Tactile Learning Style, 2016).

Kinesthetic learners absorb any information quickest when involved completely in an activity such as acting in a dramatic play, painting in creative arts or building something in a workshop (Farwell, 2012).

During studying or learning in a classroom based environment kinesthetic learners tend to require lots of breaks and prefer to be moving around, they may even speak using hand gestures.

Kinesthetic learners will be able to recall the process of what was physically done but perhaps struggle with what was said or what they had seen during that process (Examples of Learning Styles, 2007).

It has been said that we all start as Kinesthetic learners touching and playing as we learn in an early childhood setting and later on developing stronger visual and auditory skills, acquiring more information through those methods. Females tend to become auditory learners however males tend to maintain their kinesthetic learning throughout their life (Stafford & Dunn, 1993).



Solitary learner's have strong self awareness, focusing inward on their own feelings and thoughts. They generally have a good understanding of their own behaviors and motivations.

In contrast, Social learners are generally group orientated, learning best when in groups or clubs.
Learning is best obtained through discussion. problem solving and questioning. Communication
between group members is an important process.

Two types of learning styles that have opposite characteristics are Solitary (intrapersonal) and Social (interpersonal) Learning.

Solitary learners prefer to work alone in their own space, the learning is optimized when it is self paced and individualised. Originality and following ones own ideas is a strong component of successful learning for the Solitary learner.

Collaboration and organisation is the key to learning for the Social learner and they tend to
have a good understanding of others feelings.

Learning Styles is not a new concept, nor is it on it’s own is it the answer to effective learning. It is a part of a system and a process of learning.
Learning principles and theories have been around, traced and recorded back to ancient times as far back even as Aristotle who said “each child possessed specific talents and skills” and he noticed "individual differences in young children”. (Weibell, C.J, 2011)
One such system that has become popular in modern times is that known as ‘Memletics’ created by Sean Whitely who synthesised two brain models Multiple Intelligences ( from Howard Gardner) and the VAK model. VAK being the acronym for Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic created by Walter Burke Barbe based on principles from Nero Linguistic Programming (NLP) regarding how the mind processes and stores information. ( Whitely S, 2003)

image obtained (http://cdn-2.learning-styles-online.com/images/memstyles.jpg)
This concept was further expanded by Neil Fleming, who not a theorist created his own system or ‘inventory’ adding a further modality ‘Read/write’ to the existing Visual, Aural and Kinaesthetic known as the ‘VARK’ Learning Style.
Fleming explains a Learning style as “a description of a process, or of preferences. Any inventory that encourages a learner to think about the way that he or she learns is a useful step towards understanding, and hence improving, learning.” (Fleming N, 2006).

As stated prior a learning style is a description of a process or of preferences, the Inventory or questionnaire is developed which through the responses will help the participant identify the primary learning style that identifies with them.
The 6 learning styles we covered included Visual who prefer using pictures, images and special understanding; Verbal, prefer using words in speech or writing; Kinesthetic/Physical, prefer using body, hands and sense of touch; Logical/mathematical, prefer using logic and reasoning systems; Social, prefer to learn in groups or with other people and finally Solitary, learners who prefer to work alone and use self- study.
Identification of your learning style will then enable the learner or the educator to then further tailor other aspects of their learning and curriculum to enable them to obtain, understand, store and recall information to provide them a more effective learning experience.

The Verbal learning style (also known as Verbal linguistic learning style) “involves both written and spoken word” (learning-styles-online.com 2015). Usually found to be effective alongside other learning styles like Visual Learning –results are sighted, discussed and evaluated, or like Social Learning – where verbal discussions would be necessary to communicate opinions. Verbal linguistic learning style refers to a “person’s ability to reason, solve problems, and learn using language” (Logsdon A, Learning Styles - Learn about the Verbal Linguistic Learning Style 2014).
People who excels in verbal intelligence usually prefer learning through spoken and written materials. Some of the career paths frequently chosen are usually related to writing and linguistics – Teachers specialising in English, language arts or drama, writers, speech pathologist, poets (Logsdon A, Learning Styles - Learn about the Verbal Linguistic Learning Style 2014).

Examples of Learning Styles. (2007). Victoria State Government Education and Training. Retrieved from

Farwell, T. (2012). Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic Learners, Family Education. Retrieved from

Houghton College. (1997). Kinesthetic-Tactile Learning Style, Houghton College. Retrieved from

Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. (n.d). Northern Illanois University, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center. Retreived from http://www.niu.edu/facdev/resources/guide/learning/howard_gardner_theory_multiple_intelligences.pdf

Learning-styles-online. (2015). The logical (Mathematical) Learning Style. Advanogy.com. Retrieved from

Learning-Styoles-Online.com. (2015). The Verbal (Lingustic) Learning Style. Advanogy.com. Retrieved from

Logsdon, Ann. (2014). Learning Styles – Learn about the Verbal Linguistic Learning Style. About.com. Retrieved from

Multiple Intelligences. (n.d). American Institute for Learning and Human Development. Retrieved from

Peddie, G. (2008). I'm Not A Golfer, I Play Golf: It's Not How You Play Golf, It's How You Learn To Play. Xlibris Corporation. Retrieved from

Pritchard, Alan (2013) Ways of Learning: Learning theories and learning styles in the classroom. Taylor and Francis. EBL Ebook Library. Retrieved from

Smith, David. (2016). Advantages & Disadvantages of Different Learning Styles. Demand Media. Retrieved from

Stafford, R & Dunn, K.J. (1993). Teaching Secondary Students Through Their Individual Learning Styles. Allyn and Bacon. Retrieved from

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Fichtner, C (2015). Background Image. [background].Retrieved from http://feelgrafix.com/981147-blackboard.html
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