People learn in different ways or at least have a preferred way of learning something new. As an educator, it is important to understand that presenting concepts and information in different ways can help students who have different learning styles to better learn the new concept or skill.
For example, some people can learn how to fix cars by actually pulling a car apart. Other people will never be able to fix a car but will easily learn the principles behind mechanical engineering from studying the theory. Other people will struggle learning either of those but may find that having the concept explained to them helps them make better sense of it.
Each of these people has different preferred learning styles. There are three main learning styles:
Auditory learners learn best by listening to others. If you are giving instructions, talking to these learners is the best way to convey the information. Auditory learnings may enjoy talking on the phone and socialising with others.
Visual learners create pictures in their mind. They draw conclusions based on things they have seen or visualised. They prefer to read things with pictures, watch videos and look at diagrams and charts. Visual learners often doodle while listening in order to help themselves stay focused on what is being said.
This type of learner prefers to touch and manipulate objects during the learning process. If they are given hands on tasks they learn much faster and easier. Many tradespeople are kinaesthetic learners.
Using learning styles
Effective teaching and learning strategies involve using a mixture of learning styles. If you are to give instructions to a group of students you could orally communicate the information (for auditory learners) while writing it on the board (for visual learners). For kinaesthetic learners, show the students an example of the finished product and pass it around.
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