Today you meet Robin, one of our contributing writers, who also works in education. Robin is introducing learning styles as part of our Summer Learning series.
Think back to your school days. Were there teachers that you effortlessly learned from and then others you couldn’t seem to learn anything from? Did you learn best by taking notes during an hour-long lecture or watching a video? Do you remember the person in your class that was always doing something with his hands, tearing a computer apart or building something?
I remember even as an adult looking around a room at a blog conference and seeing some people sitting perfectly still, listening to a lecture and then there was me, fidgeting and moving every couple of seconds, finding it hard to stay focused when just listening. These are all signs of how a people learn. And knowing how your child learns will help relieve frustration and help you set him/her up for success.
There are three distinct learning styles
From the time we are born, we are all unique individuals. We have different backgrounds, interests, and we learn differently. The ways we learn are known as learning styles.
I remember thinking everyone learned the same way. Because I learned one way I thought everyone else learned the same way. The truth is, we all learn differently.
- Visual Learners – Visual learners make up 65% of the population. You learn best when they see something.
- Auditory Learners – Auditory learners make up 30% of the population. They learn best by listening.
- Kinesthetic Learners – Kinesthetic Learners make up about 5% of the population. They learn best by doing hands-on activities.
If you are a parent or teacher, knowing a child’s learning style can help you to individualize their assignments and provide better learning opportunities.
Imagine if you provided opportunities for your child to learn in the way they learn best and then used the other activities to reinforce the knowledge. Student engagement would increase and your child would learn at a much quicker rate, they would be much happier, and remember the content much longer.
If the teacher teaches to a learning style that is difficult for a child to relate to, it can cause problems. A lecture-only class would be very difficult for a visual learner or a kinesthetic learner.
Researchers say we retain approximately 10 percent of what we see; 30 to 40 percent of what we see and hear; and 90 percent of what we see, hear, and do. So it would be great to learn in all three styles. We all have the capability to learn via all three but are usually dominate in one style.
If you are unsure what type of learner you are or your child is, you or he/she can take a quiz, Learning Styles Quiz.
During the rest of this Summer Learning series, we will be discussing each of the learning styles. We will talk about signs to help you identify each style, activities to use to assist learning, and the types of careers these children will excel in.