Teach and Observe: Identifying the Learning Styles of Students

All students are unique, and so are teachers. There is no single teaching strategy that works perfectly for every kind of learning environment. This is why educators are required to be flexible, to be adaptive for the welfare of new learners.

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To become efficient in the classroom, teachers should first understand the different learning styles of students. According to renowned educator Neil Flemming, there are four learning styles:

1. Visual – Visual learners prefer to see materials in order to absorb the lessons. They like to study graphs, charts, diagrams, and pictures. They are very detail-oriented and organized. Writing out directions is a good way to teach visual learners. Using color codes to organize information also helps them in memorizing data.

2. Auditory – Auditory learners learn best when they are listening and speaking. Since they understand concepts by discussing them, auditory learners are often more talkative than the average student. Word games are effective teaching materials for them. Having them read textbooks aloud or give oral reports are also effective in instilling lessons.

3. Reading/Writing – Similar to visual learners, read/write learners struggle with verbal directions. They prefer to learn by reading books and handouts, taking notes, and making lists. Providing these students with well-organized, written material is the best way to teach them. Encouraging a quiet environment also helps read/write learners comprehend the lessons easier.

4. Kinesthetic – Kinesthetic learners learn best when they do things and when they move around. Teachers can encourage these students to do science experiments, act out plays, or draw or craft stuff to make concepts more comprehensible. Games and projects are also effective tools to teach kinesthetic learners.

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Educators can use these four types as a guide for preparing teaching materials for students. They should remember, however, that most students do not fall exclusively into one category. They may have a secondary learning style or maybe their various traits also apply to categories other than their main learning style.

David Ostrer discovered his passion for teaching at an early age. When he was still in high school, he volunteered at a summer camp to assist special students. That moment sparked his interest for education. Catch updates on teaching and college planning by visiting this Twitter feed.

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