Because people have different kinds of intelligence, we also have different ways of learning. No one learning style is better than the others; they are just different. If you understand your learning style, you can work in the way that suits you best. This will give you motivation and inspiration, and will make learning much easier.
There are different descriptions of learning styles. Some classifications recognise seven styles:
- Verbal (linguistic) learners prefer words, whether written or spoken.
- Visual (spatial) learners prefer spatial understanding and pictures.
- Physical (kinaesthetic) learners prefer a sense of touch and using your hands and body.
- Aural (auditory-musical) learners prefer music and sounds.
- Logical (mathematical) learners prefer systems, reasoning and logic.
- Social (interpersonal) learners prefer to learn with someone else or in groups.
- Solitary (intrapersonal) learners prefer to study and work on your own.
The most basic classifications recognise three learning styles:
Hearers (auditory learners) learn best when you hear information, for example in class, on the radio, when you listen to recordings, or when someone reads or talks to you.
Lookers (visual learners) learn best when you see information in the form of words, pictures, diagrams, drawings or tables, for example when you see information on the board, in an audiovisual presentation, on a computer monitor or the TV screen.
Touchers (tactile/kinaesthetic learners) learn best when you can move around and touch things, hold them in your hands and feel what they feel like, for example when you do an experiment in a laboratory, or when you hold a technical device in your hand, rather than reading about it or looking at drawings.
Making your learning style work for you
Corporate universities are important means of employee development and skills development. If you have the privilege of attending a corporate academy or development programme, you should make the best of it by using your unique learning style to study better.
Here are some suggestions:
- Hearers: Record your study material and play it back; ask someone to read to you; listen to educational programmes; attend seminars and lectures.
- Lookers: Do diagrams or drawings of your study material; watch educational films; find illustrations or photos that explain your study material.
- Touchers: Make models of your study material; feel or imagine the different textures and temperatures of items; use shapes or items, such as beads, to remind you of different points that you must remember.
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
― Alvin Toffler