Learning is not ‘one size fits all’. Students often differ greatly in how they learn, which requires teachers to include various approaches and tools in class. Especially young learners can easily get frustrated if the applied teaching methods do not fit their needs. Since the 1970’s, the concept of learning styles has become a great part of education.

There are many models of learning styles, such as David Kolb’s or Anthony Gregorc’s, but Neil Fleming’s VARK model is probably the most common and widely-used. Fleming, a teacher from New Zealand, who works at online assignment writing service, distinguished between Visual, Aural, Read/Write and Kinesthetic Learners, depending on the individual’s natural pattern of acquiring and keeping information. Some people have a dominant style of learning, with far less use of the other ones, while others apply a mix of all four styles.

Visual learners best learn through seeing and watching. Preferred teaching tools are posters, handouts, books with pictures, diagrams and mind-maps. Using highlighters and different colors helps them to create a better outline and makes it easier to keep the information as an image in their memory. They like teachers who use Powerpoint presentations and picturesque language.

Aural learners prefer listening. Discussing topics, explaining ideas to others, using a voice recorder or repeating information loudly can help them learn faster. In the ordinary classroom setting, they have an advantage over other students, since simply paying attention to the teacher’s lecture is a great way for them to learn. Young Aural learners greatly benefit from listening to and repeating funny educational songs, or even making up their own.

Read/Write learners favor receiving and returning information through words. Effective learning tools can be lists, glossaries, dictionaries, textbooks and manuals. Learners of this type are often passionate readers, and already enjoy spending time at the library at an early age. They prefer teachers who are well-spoken and provide the students with extensive written information. Rewriting the – often verbatim – notes they have taken throughout class makes it easier for them to memorize.

Kinesthetic learners are all about active experience: Moving, touching, and doing. For them, the key to effective learning is the opportunity to apply what they have learned. They love to actively engage in science projects and experiments, field trips, visiting laboratories and anything that includes all senses. People of this style learn best from trial and error.

However, there are also people who prefer a combination of styles, sometimes even employing all four VARK modalities together. This is called ‘multimodal’. Learners of this type examine what they have to learn from various perspectives, and then choose the learning mode they believe is most appropriate. Their ability to switch from mode to mode turns them into flexible learners.

Knowing your learning style is definitely a great advantage. It maximizes your educational experience and can save you a lot of time.

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