Different Learning Styles

All of us learn in different ways. When you, or your child, learn there are 4 steps that you go through.

  • Perceiving - Taking in information

  • Ordering - Using the information you perceive

  • Remembering

  • Understanding

The VAK Learning Styles Model was developed by psychologists in the 1920s to classify the most common ways that people learn. According to the model, most of us prefer to learn in one of three ways: visual, auditory or kinesthetic (although, in practice, we generally "mix and match" these three styles).

VAK stands for Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic (Tactile). 

Can you see what learning style is yours?

Auditory Learner

An auditory learner MUST HEAR things for them to have the best chance of learning. About 30% of school age children are auditory.

Learning Strengths

  • Remembers what they hear and say

  • Can remember oral instructions well

  • Understands information best when they hear it

An auditory learner will find it difficult to work quietly for long periods of time. They are easily distracted by noise, and by silence., They enjoy discussions and they remember best by repetition and by saying things out loud.

Visual Learner

The visual learner remembers about 75% of what they read or see. Generally, analytic visual learners will process the printed word before iconic (pictorial) information, Global visual learners will process iconic (pictorial) information before reading the printed text.

Learning Strengths

  • Remembers what they read and write.

  • Enjoys visual projects and presentations.

  • Can remember diagrams, charts, maps well.

  • Understands information best when they SEE it.

An visual learner prefers to see words written down and likes written instructions rather than verbal instructions. They will carefully organise their learning materials and enjoy decorating their learning areas. They prefer to see photographs and illustrations with text. They like to write things down to remember them, and then re-write them.

Tactile Learner

The tactile-kinesthetic learner must DO things for them to have the best chance of learning and remembers best the things they experience. Kinesthetic learning involves use of the whole body rather than just hands-on

Learning Strengths

  • Remembers what they DO, what they experience with their hands or bodies (movement and touch).

  • Enjoys using tools.

  • Can remember how to do things after they've done them once (motor memory).

  • Have good motor coordination.

An Tactile-Kinesthetic learner remembers what they DO very well. They also remember best through getting physically involved in whatever is being learned. They enjoys acting out a situation and making and creating. They might take notes, but will not often use them. They might have trouble staying still or in one place for a long time. They might also want to fiddle with small objects while listening or working. And they like to eat snacks while studying.

Global thinker

The Global Thinker Tends to Say Things Like . . .

  • Why are we doing this?

  • Can I do it later?

  • I need a break.

  • I can't work when it's quiet.

Learning Strengths

​They tend to make decisions based on emotions and intuition and prefer working in an informal, less structured, more flexible environment. They enjoy doing several things at once and often speak with many gestures. They like to take frequent breaks. They respond well to pictures and like a group learning situation.

Analytic thinker

The Analytic Thinker Tends to Say Things Like . . .

  • Should I use a pen or pencil?

  • Can I have more time?

  • What should I do first?

  • What do you think of this?

Learning Strengths

They like to work in an organised environment and to do one thing at a time. They have a strong need to complete the task they are working on. They respond well to words and numbers and they need visual reinforcement.

If you want to find out what your learning style is - then follow this link.


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