Learning Styles & Learning Inventories:
The Key to Understanding
How Your Child Learns!
Learning Style Theories:
Each of us has a unique style for processing information that is presented to us. Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences was groundbreaking. Although there are many different learning theories (as found here) the most predominant appears to be that there are 3 basic styles of learning: visual, auditory and tactile/kinaesthetic.
Learning Styles & Characteristics:
- remembers things best when they are seen or written down
- often thinks in the form of pictures
- benefits from lists in order to remember information
- prefers the whole-word approach when learning to read
- has difficulty remembering information presented orally
- benefits from color-coding
- the use of flashcards is very beneficial
- remembers information best when it is given verbally
- often sub-vocalizes when writing
- prefers the use of phonics when learning to read
- may need to read aloud in order to comprehend the content
- has difficulty remembering information presented visually
auditory reinforcement of how a word sounds when it is presented on a flashcard is very beneficial
- remembers information best by 'doing'
- uses touching or 'hands on' techniques to gain information
- has difficulty remembering information presented visually or auditorily
- learns best by physically practicing or imitating
- learns words best when writing information out
- benefits from computer use to reinforce tactile strengths
moving words around that are on a flashcard is very beneficial
Interestingly, the use of flashcards is beneficial for all three learning styles! eReadingPro flashcards are large (big, bold & beautiful) and therefore very visual, they are tactile (touchable) and they are reinforced in an auditory manner when you say the word upon presentation.
"Approximately 20 to 30 percent of the school-aged population remembers what is heard; 40 percent recalls well visually the things that are seen or read; many must write or use their fingers in some manipulative way to help them remember basic facts; other people cannot internalize information or skills unless they use them in real-life activities such as actually writing a letter to learn the correct format." (Teaching Students to Read Through Their Individual Learning Styles, Marie Carbo, Rita Dunn, and Kenneth Dunn; Prentice-Hall, 1986, p.13.)
Identification of Learning Styles:
By identifying both your learning style and that of the student, it enables you to develop learning strategies that will allow compensation for weakness, while capitalizing on strengths. In developing these strategies, you are also assisting the individual to strengthen their weaker learning modalities.
There are many simple learning inventories available such as the following:
Generally speaking, by observing and trying different teaching methods, it is relatively easy to begin identifying an individual's learning style. Typically, children with Dyslexia, Down syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger's syndrome, Trisomy 21, and Non-Verbal Learning Disabilitiestend to be very strong visual learners - along with the majority of the general population!
"The National Insitutes of Health (NIH) estimate that the incidence of learning disabilities in the general population is 15 to 20 percent. Fifty-one percent of all the students enrolled in the nation's special education programs are classified as learning disabled (U.S. Deptartment of Education)."
Resources: Visual-Auditory-Tactile Learning Styles