Every child has their own preferences when it comes to learning. Some like to read out loud; some would turn words into drawings, and some learn smarter by doing. Wondering which type of learner your child is? Educator Neil Fleming developed the famous VARK Learning Style model and classified learning styles into four types, namely visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic (Fleming, 2011).
IDENTIFY YOUR CHILD’S LEARNING STYLE
- Visual Learners
Artistic, imaginative, and creative are traits often observed in visual learners (Othman & Amiruddin, 2010). Prefer to learn by sight, they process information best by visualising concepts and ideas. As lovers of colours, shapes, images, and animated objects, visual learners are especially skilled at absorbing and retaining knowledge through charts, diagrams, graphs, graphic organisers, maps, and other visual aids. `
- Auditory Learners
If your child craves storytelling time and is quick at remembering lyrics, he/she might well be an auditory learner! This group of learners learn best by listening to sounds and music. Lectures, group discussions, or any form of learning involving oral communication are situations in which auditory learners thrive. With strong language skills, auditory learners tend to digest information best when they think out loud (Fleming, 2020). Learning strategies that favour them include replaying audio recordings, mnemonics, rhymes, riddles, songs, and verbal repetition.
- Reading/Writing Learners
Is your child a bookworm, and does he/she communicate better through writing than speaking? If that rings a bell, your child is probably a reading/writing learner. Enjoy learning through words, reading/writing learners love expressing ideas and organising thoughts through writing and are apt at recalling what they read and wrote (Sintia, Rusnayati, & Samsudin, 2019). Taking notes during classes and revisions, using text organisers, and translating visuals into words are learning methods that work for them.
- Kinaesthetic Learners
Getting your child to sit is difficult, and it is possibly an indicator that he/she is a kinaesthetic learner. This type of learners prefers to learn by being physically involved in hands-on activities and through their sense of touch (Cherry, 2019). Often gifted in physical activities, kinaesthetic learners are good at remembering what they have done. That being said, repetitive movements, as well as in-class activities, demonstrations, and competitions are great learning experiences that would help kinaesthetic learners convert new information into long-term, solid memories.
DOES MATCHING LEARNING STYLE TO LEARNING METHODS IMPROVE LEARNING EFFICIENCY?
After recognising the learning style(s) to which your child is most accustomed, you are probably thinking of asking your child to focus on the studying strategies that work best in their favour. While this might sound counter-intuitive, researches have shown there aren’t any noticeable improvements in learning efficiency when people stick to the learning techniques that match their dominant learning style(s) in the long term (Arbuthnott & Krätzig, 2015). Your child actually learns most effectively by practising different types of learning styles simultaneously or – to put it another way – when multiple senses are engaged in learning new ideas or skills.
MULTISENSORY LEARNING IS THE ANSWER
Since sights, sounds, movements, and tactile memories are stored in different parts of the brain, multisensory learning enables children to create various sensory memories and brain connections about a specific learning experience, leading to better memory retention and retrieval (Zull, 2002). Multisensory learning ensures a new concept or technique can be learnt via several means, and that all children’s learning preferences and needs be met (Morin, 2019). It empowers every child to thrive and learn in their own way – whether they prefer to learn by reading, writing, listening or doing. As children assimilate and apply new knowledge or skills in multiple ways, parents and teachers can also get a better understanding of students’ learning progress and the challenges they encounter.
At Qurio, we support students with a learning environment, learning methods, and a curriculum that facilitate multisensory learning inside and outside classrooms. We make sure experiential learning is incorporated into every single lesson, and that learning is always relevant, memorable, and effective. Book a free assessment now and experience the benefits of multisensory learning!
You can download the VARK test HERE to find out which type(s) of learner your child is.
1. Arbuthnott, K. D., & Krätzig, G. P. (2015). Effective Teaching: Sensory Learning Styles
versus General Memory Processes. Comprehensive Psychology, 4(2015).
2. Cherry, K. (2019, November 27). Overview of VARK Learning Styles. Verywell Mind.
3. Fleming, G. (2020, January 21). Understanding the auditory learning style. ThoughtCo.
4. Fleming, N. D. (2011). Teaching and learning styles: VARK strategies. IGI Global.
Morin, A. (2019, August 5). Multisensory instruction: What you need to know. Understood.
5. Othman, N., & Amiruddin, M. H. (2010). Different perspectives of learning styles from VARK model.
Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 7, 652-660.
6. Sintia, I., Rusnayati, H., & Samsudin, A. (2019). VARK learning style and cooperative learning implementation on impulse and momentum.
Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1280(5), 052032.
Zull, J. E. (2002). The art of changing the brain. Stylus Publishing, LLC.