Monday, January 19, 2009

Learning styles revisted

How do you learn best?

In a recent post, I mentioned the concept of learning styles. Some of you wanted to know more about that.

Some folks learn a new concept in A&P best by hearing their instructor explain it. Some favor learning it from the textbook. Others need to play with specimens in the lab to really "get it."

All of these differences in learning among individuals are often called their "learning styles." There are MANY learning styles. So many, they probably can't be counted.

But folks (like me) interested in understand how students learn best often distill the major patterns into four categories of learning style:

  • Visual learners, who learn best by seeing a concept illustrated.

  • Auditory learners, who learn best by hearing explanations.

  • Reading learners, who prefer to read about a concept to understand it.

  • Kinesthetic leaners, who like to use movement or manipulate objects in a "hand on" approach.

[NOTE: The word kinesthesia means "muscle sense," which is your perception of body position and movement.]

But only rarely does a person rely solely on one approach when learning a new concept. Most of us are multimodal, meaning that we operate in more than one of these primary learning styles or "modes."

Even us multimodal folks, have certain preferences within our "mix" of learning styles. For example, I learn best when I can see and put my hands on it. But like other multimodals, I can also learning mainly by reading or hearing. In other words, we are not restricted to our favorite learning styles any more that I'm restricted to my preferred flavor of ice cream (vanilla).

So how does this help me learn?

By knowing what works best for me, I can develop learning strategies for myself that play to my own strengths and preferences.

Perhaps I can draw or label pictures while I'm listening to an explanation. That engages both my visual and kinesthetic senses while I'm listening. Thus adding my preferred modes (visual & kinesthetic) to one that is not my preferred mode (auditory).

You probably already know what your preferred learning styles are. If not, take the FREE online quiz using the link at my Learning Styles page in the Lion Den.

And then use the links on that page to find all kinds of ways to help you understand your learning styles and use them to make your studying of A&P more efficient.

No comments:

Post a Comment