I need information about theories of "learning styles" "learning methods" and such.
Hello! Thanks for your question about the theories of "learning styles", "learning methods", and such. The short version is that there are a number of learning styles and methods that are used for learners. However, there are three predominant styles that require specific learning and teaching methods these are: visual, auditory, kinesthetic learning. Below you will find a deep dive of my findings.
In order to best answer your question, I reviewed information from a number of credible sources ranging from academic databases, trusted media sites, and industry reports.
I found that there are many learning styles and methods. However, there is a general consensus on three dominant learning styles and some methods that accompany these styles. This response is based on these findings. I came across an interesting trend called personalized learning. I thought that it would be good to provide you with information on this new trends as it relates quite well to the times we live in. That being said, the meat of this response is based on the three predominant learning styles.
LEARNING STYLES AND METHODS
A learning style is defined as the way in which an individual processes information. There is are numerous separate learning-style instruments and theories documented in education literature, 71 according to Coffield and his team. Learning-styles-online.com identifies seven learning styles. However, there are three predominant learning styles that most academics can agree on and they are visual, auditory, kinesthetic learning. These styles are not set in stone, therefore, it is not uncommon to combine the primary and secondary learning styles. In fact, research suggests that we retain 10% of what we see, 30%-40% of what we see and hear, and 90% of what we see, hear and do.
1. Visual Learning
Visual learners learn by drawing on images from the past to help them remember. They, essentially, learn by watching. A visual learner remembers up to 75% of what they read or see. 40% of secondary students fall into this category. Such learners remember what they read and write and thrive when they are presented with visual material in a variety of formats. For example, teachers could incorporate audio-visual materials such as filmstrips, movies, and pictorial material. This method can help develop a students' ability to listen and to understand the concepts better. Visual learners usually exhibit a number of major traits. For example, when something is being described, visual learners prefer an image to accompany the description, which is why photographs, diagrams, illustrations, and so on, are great tools to use. In 2010, Vanderbilts University's Center for Teaching graduate program coordinator, Maria Ebner and assistant director Derek Bruff, conducted a visual thinking workshop. The aim of the workshop was to provide their colleagues with ways in which to integrating visual thinking in their teaching, as well as to incorporate visual thinking in their students.
2. Auditory Learning
Auditory learners remember by listening and thrive when they are presented with information in the form a poem, song or melody. Approximately 30% of the general school-age population is auditory. Auditory learners will generally remember 75% of what they hear in a lecture. Auditory learners find it difficult to work quietly for long periods of time as they prefer classroom and small-group discussions. Brainstorming session would be great for such learners as they encourage learning through discussion. Pod casts are also another great way to maximize auditory learner's ability to retain information, a great example of an educational pod cast would be the TED talks. Verbalization is key for auditory learners, which is why it is important to incorporate multimedia applications that utilize sounds, music, or speech reciting when teaching such students. Students are able to learn better when they recite information out loud several times.
3. Kinesthetic Learning
Kinesthetic learners work best through practical application. More importantly, kinesthetic learners need to move. They have an excellent “physical” memory and, therefore, need to learn through their bodies and sense of touch. Kinesthetic learners are usually great at athletics, dancing, and any other activities that require physicality. These students make up 50% of secondary student. These students are most often the ones who will get fidgety during lessons and find it quite difficult to sit still. A kinesthetic learner can learn easier while walking around or shooting hoops. They have difficulty learning in a traditional setting which is why, for example, having classes outside of the classroom could be highly beneficial for such learners. By allowing them to learn through hands-on activity such as performing skits, model making, art materials, math manipulatives, and so, these students are able to retain focus and learn better. Getting these learners involved in programs that enhance their practical skills set is great. For example, the Michigan State University Extension 4-H program provides over 200,000 young people with experiential learning opportunities in a number of disciplines ranging from Arts, Environmental & Outdoor Education, Global & Cultural Education, and Science & Engineering to name a few.
More recently, in the era of digital disruption, is the increasing use of personalized learning. Personalized learning allows students to learn at their own pace through the use of an approach appraoch that is customized to fit their needs. Learning activities are often self-initiated as they are driven by the learner's interests. By adjusting the pace of learning, the student is able to learn in his/her own time allowing them the time needed to demonstrate mastery. The learning is optimized and tailored for each learner, which allows them to engage more and take greater ownership of their learning. Personalized learning blends traditional education with cutting-edge technology. There are a number of proponents for this style of learning, particularly those in Silicon Valley. Technology allows learners to receive more frequent immediate feedback. A study conducted by the education consulting company Education Elements found that personalized learning led to 130% growth in reading and 122% growth in math. While evidence suggests that personalized learning has gained increasing popularity in recent years, research suggests modest achievement gains and has identified implementation challenges. For example, teachers reported concerns and discomfort with the slow pace of some students. Another challenge is that there are too few ready-made resources to draw on to provide more personalized pathways and activities for students.
To wrap it up, there are a number of learning styles and theories documents, however, the most referred to styles are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning. Students who fall into either category require different approaches to how they are taught and, essentially, how they learn.
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