Importance of Identifying Learning Styles.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

– Albert Einstein

Ashi, Aman, Raj, and Kim were four friends, waiting for their Class 11 results. All of them were confident that they would pass the exam, but were getting desperate to know their percentage.

The day of the results, all were in for a shock!!

ReasonNone of them failed, but all of them got nearly the same percentage.

Different-Learning-Styles-2

Ashi and Aman had been preparing for the exams since the semester started. While, Kim and Raj had started preparing just two months prior to the exam.

This might have been a scenario that many of us faced in our student life, but did not have answers to certain pertinent questions, then, like:

  • How does a student, who spends less time studying, end up with more marks than his/her counterpart, who actually studied more?
  • How can students from the same class, taught by the same teacher, end up getting such varied results?

Traditionally, people used to equate the marks obtained with the mental capacity of a student/individual. It is in the recent years that “education” has undergone a change, and people are becoming aware of the difference between “good learning” and “good results”. People have come to appreciate that each individual has a unique style of learning. What works for one might not work for the other. If a person is studying as per their learning style, they would be able to learn better, and remember the information for a longer period of time.

Taking the above scenario into consideration –

Ashi and Aman used to learn by looking at graphics, taking lectures, watching demonstrations, and reading. Such people find it difficult to learn if there are distractions around. Such people are called visual learners.

On the other hand, Kim learns by listening and speaking. She used to record lectures and listen to them afterwards; read aloud; and discuss among her study groups to memorize the points. She is an auditory learner.

Raj is able to learn things by performing activities. He used to write things down while reading; attend the class of instructors who prefer demonstration and fieldwork; and take more breaks while studying. He is a kinesthetic learner.

Following are some key differences in the three learning styles –

different-learning-styles-tree

If teaching is tailored to suit the preferred styles of the learners, learning would not just be quick and high on quality, but it would take deeper roots and instill behavioural changes, in line with overall development and growth.