Adult Learning Styles

Three Learning Styles (V, A, K)

1A. Read the descriptions of the Three Distinct Learning Styles below. Choose your most preferred, second most preferred, and least. On a post-it note, write that 3 letter code preferred (ie: AVK) We are all of these to some degree!

Three Distinct Learning Styles!

VISUAL: Learning through Seeing. Likes to see pictures or diagrams. Likes demonstrations and watching DVDs.

Enjoys reading, watching TV and going to movies. Would rather read than be read to. Remembers people by sight, does not forget faces. Reveals emotions through facial expressions. Plans ahead, likes to see overall big picture. Good eye contact, recall, prefers to be shown rather than told. Often a good speller. Need verbal directions written down. Usually sits in the middle. Takes and uses notes. “I SEE what you mean.”

AUDITORY: Learning through Hearing. Likes to listen to debates, audio books, lectures, discussion and verbal instructions.

Enjoys listening to radio, music, debates, remembers names, recalls facts, has big vocabulary. Gives verbal directions (go one block and turn left!). Reveals emotions verbally through change in tone. Responds better when hearing information rather than reading. Talk out loud to themselves to help themselves think. Would rather tell it than write it. A good speaker. Loves discussion. Usually sits in the front. Often does not take notes—it interferes with listening. Likes to learn by listening to audio books. “I HEAR what you mean.”

KINESTHETIC: Learns through physical activities and through direct involvement. Likes to be “hands on”, moving, touching, and experiencing first-hand.

Enjoys active pursuits such as hiking, dancing, biking. Reveals emotions through body language. Learns well by manipulating objects. Feels if something is right, relies on a lot of gut feelings. Hard to sit still for more than a few minutes. Taps pen or foot while listening. Will often sit in the back to fidget or escape. Takes notes to be doing something, may or may not use them. Sensitive to the furniture, clothes, how it all feels. “I can FEEL what you mean.”

Write your three letter code here:

Consider this analysis of the breakdown of learning styles in a typical group of 30 adults.

 Imagine 30 adult learners, selected at random and taking a small group with you. Among the 30, 22 of them would have enough of all three learning preferences to “get it,” even if they do it on their own. With motivation, they can be “teacher proof!” Two of the learners have some type of learning difficulty, usually with reading, writing or numbers. The remaining six learners are very STRONG in a sign preference, so much so that if the class is not taught to their style, they struggle. The folks who struggle the most are the very strong kinesthetic learners for whom just sitting and listening can be a nightmare. The majority of your people who do not complete high school are strong kinesthetic learners!

We tend to teach the way we were taught—OR in the way we like to be taught. The chances are quite good that our way results in many missed opportunities for our learners who want to show us how smart they are but may not get that chance.

Rose and Nicholl, Accelerated Learning for the 21st Century