If you’ve ever found a particular subject difficult at college, or struggled to learn how to do something at work, it’s likely that it’s not what you’re learning that is the obstacle, but how you’re learning it.
Harvard professor Howard Gardner proposed that there are 8 different types of learning styles which most people fall into. Your learning style determines how you process visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic (physical) information, and knowing which of the following categories you fall into can help you learn new things more easily.
Linguistic Learner – If you pick things up by reading, writing, listening, or speaking, then you’re probably a linguistic learner. If you learn better by taking notes, listening to audio recordings, or repeating things out loud, or a combination of these things, then you fit into this category.
Naturalistic Learner – Naturalists learn new information by looking at the world, particularly nature, around them. They experiment with it and apply logical reasoning. Farmers, animal behaviourists and scientists often fall into this category.
Musical or Rhythmic Learner – If your memory is stimulated by rhythm or music, you’re likely to learn best by listening to music or humming a tune while you work or by using a song or rhyme to learn information.
Kinaesthetic Learner – These types of learners are all about doing – absorbing information best by carrying out physical activities like playing games, role play, dance, sports, or art. It’s a very hands-on way of learning that is often shared by skilled tradesmen, artists, or surgeons, as they are professions that could not be done without practicing a skill.
Visual or Spatial Learner – Diagrams, pictures and graphs are all resources that help visual learners. It’s a learning type that is typical in technical professions, such as computer-programming.
Logical or Mathematical Learner – These learners prefer to categorise or classify things to understand them, or use patterns, numbers and equations to learn information.
Interpersonal Learner – If you work best in a team, or discussing your ideas with others, you’re likely to be an interpersonal learner. You’re also likely to have high emotional intelligence, and be able to be very empathetic towards others feelings and motivations.
Intrapersonal Learner – On the other hand, if you work better alone, and like to set individual goals and challenges, then it is likely that you are a self-motivated intrapersonal learner. It means you’re less likely to need direct supervision and are more likely to have a creative profession or become an entrepreneur.
Of course, just because if you fit into one category, it doesn’t mean you can’t be in another. Many people use a combination of different learning styles. If you know you learn in a certain way, use it!
Educationplanner.org also provide a free 20-question quiz to help you determine the best way of learning for you.