How to identify VARK learning styles and student learning styles

Every child’s interest in learning is different. Some like to hear, some like to see, some like to write and some like to read. However, what all have in common – when they can include elements and topics of interest to them in their studies, such as building blocks, music, fashion, airplanes, etc.

There is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ learning concept for how you understand information. Each learner is different and prefers a different learning style, but teachers have for many years focused more on using common learning methods than on understanding how their students learn, perhaps one of the most serious aspects of teaching a child.

However, the idea of ​​different teaching styles is not new; It always is. The concept became popular in the mid-1970s, and since then, it has influenced teaching and learning methods.

All learning styles reflect individual strengths that help a person retain information more effectively. Each of them focuses on one of the five meanings or the social aspect. This theory is popular because it is thought that their effectiveness can be improved by finding individual learner styles and teaching accordingly.

In this article, we will cover all four primary education styles. Take a look and ask yourself: Do you find it all equally interesting? Do you prefer one (or more) of these to meet your student’s needs? Examine and closely observe which learning style is most appropriate for your students!

VARK learning style

Neil D. Fleming and Colin E. “VARK” abbreviates the four methods of student learning described by Mills in his 1992 study. These different learning styles-

  • Visual learners
  • Hearing learners
  • Reading / writing learners
  • Kinesthetic learners

After thousands of hours of class observation, these learning styles were identified. The authors also created a questionnaire to help teachers identify and understand their learning preferences.

As Neil Fleming and David Baum declare, teachers need to understand how their students learn; It is more important for students to understand how they learn on their own. By understanding their learning and thinking process, they can become more efficient at studying and learning.

It can be very frustrating to sit in a classroom without knowing about your learning process and to understand why you are not getting it. It can be frustrating to learn from one teacher but difficult to learn from another. Ultimately, this can lead to a loss of confidence in the learning process.

If you have such feelings or a student is struggling with this, then this article can be of great help to you.

Understanding the VARK model

Visual learners

Visual learning is also called “local learning”. In this learning style, students who prefer visual learning look and observe things, including pictures, diagrams, written instructions, and more. Students who learn visually gain a better understanding of information when presented visually. These are your doodling students, your students making lists and taking notes.

Images, figures, and text are his priorities; You can use whiteboard or smartboard. Give students the opportunity to draw pictures and figures on the board or create examples based on their learning topics. It is also recommended that teachers distribute the material and present it regularly. Visual learners will have more time to process the material as they see the visual cues in front of them. So, be sure to give students some time and space to absorb the information.

Hearing learners

As far as hearing aids are concerned, they tend to learn better when the subject is strengthened by sound. Such students prefer to listen to a lecture rather than read or write notes, and they are more likely to use their voice to reinforce new concepts and ideas. Such learners prefer to read aloud. They are not afraid to speak in class and are good at explaining things orally. Furthermore, they may be slow to read and often repeat what the teacher tells them.

Hearing learners find it difficult to stay calm for long periods of time; It is best to engage them in lectures by asking them to read aloud in class, repeating new concepts, or asking them to answer questions. Inviting group discussions is also a great option because their auditory and verbal processors can properly understand, comprehend and retain the information they present. It is also helpful to introduce them in video, music or audiotape.

Reading / writing learners

Developed in 1992 by Fleming and Mills. Theory of VARK methods Mention that reading / writing learners prefer to learn from written words / texts. This type of learner has some coverage, including visual learning; They are attracted to expression by writing notes / diaries, reading books or articles, searching dictionary words and searching the internet for almost everything.

This learning style is probably the easiest to satisfy because most traditional education systems focus on writing essays, doing research, and reading books. The teacher needs to be aware of giving students plenty of time to absorb information through written text / words and give them a chance to put their ideas on paper.

Kinesthetic learners

Kinesthetic learners, or those who learn tactical games, learn by experiencing or doing things. These types of learners engage in organizing events or using hands to touch and handle concepts. Kinesthetic learners may have difficulty staying in one place for long periods of time. They may need multiple breaks during their study.

To teach such students in the best way is to make them ‘learn by doing’. Ask these students to create a specific scene from the book or lesson you are teaching. Encourage them by incorporating movement into the lessons: help them remember, introduce games that involve walking around the classroom while learning, or have students write on the whiteboard as part of the activity. Once kinesthetic learners can physically understand what they are learning, abstract ideas and complex concepts become easier to understand.

To ensure that learners excel in their learning journey, it is important to understand the different learning styles and preferences. By empowering students at a young age, teachers enable them to prepare for their future. Recognizing how well a child learns can significantly affect their ability to connect with the subjects you teach and how they relate to the rest of the class.

About the author

Author: Sania Khan

I am Sania Khan, copy-editor at EdTechReview – India’s leading Adtech media. As part of the group, my goal is to spread awareness about the growing Adtech market by guiding all educational stakeholders on the latest and quality news, information and resources. A passionate writer dedicated to excellence has been creating interesting but informative episodes since 2016, playing with words.

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