The 12 Learning Styles: What Is Each Based On?

The scientific explanation behind each style of learning.

Learning styles are the consistent way in which students respond to or use stimuli in the learning environment, that is, the educational conditions under which a student is most likely to learn.

Therefore, learning styles do not really refer to what students learn, but how they prefer to learn and, in many cases, how it is easier for them to learn. Learning styles are a mixture of characteristic cognitive, affective, and physiological factors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how the student perceives, interacts, and responds to the learning environment.

  • It may interest you: ” The 13 types of learning: what are they? “

Learning styles: what are they?

There are people who find it easier to learn by observing, because colors or photographs help them learn more easily; while others learn better by reading and this is their way of studying. Have you ever wondered which learning style is most effective for you? The truth is that there is no single way of learning, but each of us tends to feel more comfortable with one learning style or another.

In today’s article, we go over the various learning styles. Don’t miss them!

Learning styles according to Alonso, Gallego and Honey

For Alonso, Gallego and Honey (1995), authors of the book Learning styles, learning and improvement procedures, “it is necessary to know more about learning styles and which of these defines our favorite way of learning.

This is essential, both for learners and teachers ”. The authors state that there are 4 learning styles:

1. Assets

Students who prefer the active learning style enjoy new experiences, are not skeptical and have an open mind. They do not mind learning a new task, as they do not avoid challenges even though it may compromise their idea of ​​themselves and their capabilities.

2. Reflective

Individuals with a preference for the reflective learning style look at experiences from different angles. They also analyze data, but not without first giving some serious thought. They are cautious and do not rush to draw conclusions from their experiences, which is why they can come to seem doubtful.

3. Theorists

They tend to have a perfectionist personality. They are also analytical, but they like to synthesize and seek to integrate the facts into coherent theories, leaving no loose ends and unanswered questions. They are rational and try to remain objective above all else.

4. Pragmatists

They are rather practical and need to check their ideas. They are realistic when making decisions and solving a question, and guide their learning towards the need to give answers to specific problems. For them, “if it is useful it is valid”.

Other learning styles that we can find

But the previous classification is not the only one that exists, other authors have proposed different learning styles. They are as follows:

5. Logical (mathematical)

Individuals with the logical learning style prefer to employ logic and reasoning rather than contextualize. They use schemes in which the relevant things are shown. They associate words even without making sense of them.

6. Social (interpersonal)

This style of learning, also called group learning, is characteristic of those people who prefer to work with others whenever they can. These individuals try to share your findings with others. and put their findings into practice in group settings. Role play is an ideal technique for them.

7. Solitary (intrapersonal)

This learning style, also called individual, is characteristic of those who prefer solitude and tranquility to study. They are thoughtful people and tend to focus on topics that are of interest to them and place great value on introspection or “thought experiments”, although they can also experiment with matter.

8. Visual learning

These students are not good at reading texts but, instead, assimilate images, diagrams, graphs and videos very well. It is often practical for them to use symbols or create visual shorthand when taking notes, as they memorize better that way.

9. Aural (auditory)

These students learn best when they listen. For example, in discussions, debates or simply with the teacher’s explanations. While other students can learn more by coming home and opening the class manual, they learn a lot in the classroom, listening to the teachers.

10. Verbal (reading and writing)

Also known as language learning, students with this learning style study best by reading or writing. For them, it is better to read the notes or simply elaborate them. The process of preparing these notes is a good tool for learning.

11. Kinesthetic

These people learn best by doing, that is, by doing more than reading or observing. It is in this practice where they carry out analysis and reflection. Teachers who want to get the most out of these students must involve them in the practical application of the concepts they intend to teach.

12. Multimodal

Some individuals combine several of the above styles, so they do not have a certain preference. Her learning style is flexible and she is comfortable learning with various learning styles.

Understanding Learning Styles: What Does Science Say?

Learning styles have more influence on learning than we realize, because they represent the internal experiences we have or the way we remember information.

Researchers have been interested in this phenomenon, and it is estimated that each learning style uses different parts of the brain. Here are some examples:

  • Visual : The occipital lobes at the back of the brain control the visual sense. Both the occipital and parietal lobes handle spatial orientation.
  • Aural : The temporal lobes handle auditory content. The right temporal lobe is especially important for music.
  • Verbal : This learning style involves the temporal and frontal lobes, especially two specialized areas called Broca and Wernicke’s areas.
  • Kinesthetic : The cerebellum and the motor cortex at the back of the frontal lobe handle much of our physical movement.
  • Logical : The parietal lobes, especially the left side, drive our logical thinking.
  • Social : The frontal and temporal lobes handle much of our social activities. The limbic system also influences both social and individual style. The limbic system has a lot to do with emotions and moods.
  • Individual : The frontal and parietal lobes, and the limbic system, are also involved in this learning style.

An approach to the theory of multiple intelligences

Taking into account what has been stated in the previous paragraphs, a theory that revolutionized the concept of intelligence makes a lot of sense. This theoretical idea was born when Howard Gardner realized that the one indicated by the Intellectual Quotient (IQ) is not the only form of intelligence that exists, and identified and described up to eight different types of intelligence. According to this conception of the human mind, there are several types of mental capacities that, in one way or another, are relatively independent of each other and can be considered self-sufficient types of intelligence.

Thus, learning styles could indicate the different ways in which people learn depending on the type of propensities of facilities available to them, taking into account those intelligences in which they excel more and less.

  • To learn more about this theory, you can visit our article: ” Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences “

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