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Lesson 6: The Importance of Learning Styles

It is important to understand that every person has a unique learning style (the way they best process information). Individuals prefer different styles of learning, learn at different rates, and use different learning styles. Your learning style may differ from your client's preferred learning style. Therefore, knowledge of learning styles is important for anyone who teaches or tutors others. One's learning style does not reflect his/her level of achievement or academic ability. One style is not necessarily better than another. 

Researchers have identified at least 21 elements of learning style and have found that most people respond strongly to between six and fourteen elements. However, it is the perceptual elements, auditory, visual, tactual, and kinesthetic, that are most important to identify, for they identify the learner's preferred learning modality. You might recognize your own preference in the following descriptions. 

Auditory Strength

  • prefer verbal instructions  
  • learn best by listening  
  • enjoy dialogues, discussions, and plays  
  • often remember names but forget faces  
  • like to find solutions by talking them out  
  • easily distracted by noise  
  • need quiet place to work  


Visual Strength

  • prefer demonstrations  
  • learn best through descriptions  
  • like to use lists to keep themselves organized  
  • often recognize words by sight  
  • often remember faces but forget names  
  • have well developed imaginations  
  • easily distracted by movement or action in the room  
  • tend to be unaware of noise  


Tactual Strength

  • often do best when they take notes either during lecture or when reading new or challenging material  
  • often like to draw or doodle to remember  
  • do well with hands-on such as projects, demonstrations, or labs  


Kinesthetic Strength

  • often do best when involved or active  
  • have high energy levels  
  • think and learn best while moving  
  • often don't get much from lectures  
  • have difficulty concentrating when asked to sit and read  
  • prefer to do rather than watch or listen  

Becoming familiar with learning style theory will help you be able to recognize your client's style and make helpful suggestions on how they can use their strengths to help them study more effectively.  Your client's preferences may be very different from yours, so it is important to recognize that study habits that work for you may not work for your client because it does not fit his/her unique learning style. 

This is a very brief explanation of learning styles.  Refer to the web site listed below to learn more about learning styles: 

Complete Assignment Six 

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