How Students Learn Differently

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Joe Noble works on a computer project in Mrs. Wheats class. In this instance he is utilizing visual learning.

Carter Colvin

She listens intently, hearing every word clearly and concisely. Her mind is not elsewhere, but focused completely on what comes from the  teacher’s mouth. Next to her, however,  another student is counting the ceiling tiles without any knowledge of what is being discussed.  

With the various different teaching styles and methods that teachers use, it becomes apparent that students perform differently in classes that utilize or do not utilize their learning styles. Typically, types of learners are divided into four main categories; auditory, visual, kinesthetic and tactile learners.

“I always like to alternate my teaching styles because all students learn in different ways,” Spanish teacher Daliana Rodriguez said. “I want them to experience all these for their own growth.”

Auditory learners perform best in classes where lectures and conversations are utilized. A survey of 121 Lindale students concluded that only 6.6 percent attain information better in classes that use this teaching style. These types of learners can accommodate their learning style to others by reading questions to themselves outloud or by listening to recordings and audio books.

The more creative the teacher, the better I tend to do in class,” senior Ashlie Thompson said. “I know auditory learners are sometimes hard to accommodate to, but those teachers who are willing to reach out to every single student with their different learning styles are typically the teachers that make the biggest impact.”

pullquote speaker=”Ashlie Thompson” photo=”” align=”left” background=”on” border=”all” shadow=”on”]The more creative the teacher, the better I tend to do in class. I know auditory learners are sometimes hard to accommodate to, but those teachers who are willing to reach out to every single student with their different learning styles are typically the teachers that make the biggest impact.[/pullquote]

Visual learners perform best in classes that present concepts on the board allowing them to grasp it by looking at the instructor’s work. The survey concluded that 49.6 percent of students gain information by visualizing examples and being able to apply the same concept elsewhere. Learners like these can thrive in classrooms that do not use this method by creating analogies or by making flashcards that organize information in a definitive style.

“I would like more visual demonstrations in classes,” freshman Julia Nelms said. “I remember how a certain thing looks. On flashcards, with the word and definition, I will remember how the word looks and attach the word to the definition.”

Kinesthetic learners perform best in classes that offer hands-on activities and projects that help them physically work out examples. The survey concluded that 24.8 percent of students learn by using motion to gain knowledge. These learners can adapt to classrooms that are not as active by conducting their own experiments and applying concepts to the real world.

“If I’m given notes on the iPad, I usually rewrite them and have to highlight my notes to make them colorful,” sophomore Kaleigh Lawless said. “In history I’m having a harder time than other classes because my teacher lectures a lot, and sometimes I can’t keep up.”

Tactile learners perform best in classes where they are free to work problems out themselves after being given the instructions. The survey concluded that 19 percent of students learn by being able write personal ideas they have about topics on paper. By taking organized notes in class and writing down their own thoughts on the subject afterward, these learners are able to perform well in most classroom settings.

“I use Quizlet a lot because it helps me with the test so that I can learn how to spell vocabulary words or do multiple choice questions that help me learn,” junior Kayley Kraig said. “I definitely do much better in classes that use certain tools like Quizlet to help.”