Today, most people recognize the concept that we all are unique in personality, and also recognize that we all think and learn in unique ways. However, this recognition was not always understood in the classroom environment. In the past, there was usually only one method of teaching specific subject material, and it was not designed to address the needs of different types of learners. This caused many students to experience frustration, and self-esteem issues, and students were considered to have learning disabilities, when in fact, they did not. Instead, their brains took a different path to learning and processed the subject material and information in different ways vs. other students.
For those learners with specific learning styles, it can be challenging to adapt to the learning techniques that are being used in the classroom. Rather than try to force a square brain into a round learning peg, it is best to find out what type of learner you are, and use that knowledge to apply it to your particular situation.
- For example, if you are a visual spatial thinker who is struggling in English class, try studying for a test by putting the information in a graph form, or on a chalkboard.
- If you are having difficulty adapting your aural auditory learning in geometry, instead of trying to be a visual-spatial thinker (which is the easiest way to grasp mathematical concepts), use your specific style to your advantage. Listen while a friend describes how he/ she arrived at the answer, or stop watching the board during class, and instead try listening only to the words of the teacher instead of the visual demonstration.
- A verbal linguistic learner is typically able to absorb a great deal of information quickly, but primarily shines in English, Speech, Drama and Debate. However, in order to ensure a good grade in Math as well, try learning the algebra homework through practicing word problems as much as possible, as this may be helpful to you.
Why Your Thinking Method Works for You
Students who have what is known as a visual spatial way of thinking work by “sight”, and are able to use maps, charts and notes to help them understand and remember information. Many engineers, architects and designers shine in this area. Students who are aural and auditory learners can adapt by concentrating on the spoken word of a lecture, setting study notes to music, or even to poetry. It is also a good idea to record lectures and play them back later when studying for a test.
This gives the brain the auditory cue it needs to store information. This type of learner typically has a musical inclination, and that can be an added source of learning. Auditory learners are often musicians, speech pathologists or may do well in the arts. The verbal linguistic learner is able to combine both verbal and linguistic cues, and is typically able to combine listening to lectures with writing down the notes for good recall. Actors, politicians, writers and teachers are often verbal linguistic learners.
There are additional learning styles which we will explore in a future blog. While not everyone falls exactly into one of these categories, it is a fact that there are several established methods and styles of learning and thinking. Once you know how you learn best, you can begin to implement strategies and techniques that work best for you!