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					Learning Styles

Introduction
Types of style
Learning tips
Introduction to learning styles
 A complex field of research, proliferating
  since Honey and Mumford in 1982
 Findings adopted by many large
  organisations
 Common finding that learning patterns
  are not well suited to actual range of
  preferred learning styles
 Wide range of models to characterise
  learning styles
Range of models include:
 Honey and Mumford (1982)
  distinguished between four preferred
  learning styles:
 Activist
 Reflector
 Theorist
 Pragmatist
Honey and Mumford model (1.1)
Activists learn best from activities in which
  there are:
 New experiences and challenges
 Short ‘here and now’ tasks including
  teamwork and problem-solving
 Excitement, change and variety
 ‘High visibility’ tasks such as leading
  discussions
Honey and Mumford model (1.2)
Reflectors learn best from activities where
  they:
 Are allowed or encouraged to
  watch/think/ponder on activities
 Have time to think before acting
 Can carry out careful, detailed research
 Have time to review their learning
 Don’t have pressure and tight deadlines
Honey and Mumford model (1.3)
Theorists learn best from activities where:
 What is offered is part of a system,
  model, concept or theory
 They can explore the interrelationships
  between ideas, events and situations
 They are asked to analyse and
  evaluate, then generalise
 They can question basic assumptions or
  logic
Honey and Mumford model (1.4)
Pragmatists learn best from activities if:
 There’s an obvious link between the
  subject matter and a ‘real life’ problem
 They are shown techniques for doing
  things with practical advantages
 They see a model they can emulate, or
  can concentrate on practical issues
 They are given immediate opportunities
  to implement what they have learned
Range of models (2)

Pask (1988) distinguished between:

 Holist learners, who prefer to form a
  global view of what is learned and make
  relations between its parts
 Serialist learners, who prefer to take a
  step-by-step approach
Range of models

Broader distinction made between:

 Visual/holist learners
 Verbal-sequential learners
Range of models

  Common distinction between:
 Visual learners, who prefer to learn
  through seeing
 Auditory learners, who prefer to learn
  through hearing
 Kinaesthetic learners, who prefer to
  learn through ‘hands on’ physical
  activity
Tips for visual learners
 Use visual materials such as pictures,
  charts and maps
 Use colour coding and highlighting
 Look carefully at headings/patterns of
  topics; take notes and use handouts
 Brainstorm using illustrations, mind
  maps; skim read to get an overview
 Visualise information in picture form
Tips for auditory learners
 Participate frequently in discussions nd
  debates
 Make speeches and presentations
 Use a tape recorder as well as notes
 Read text aloud
 Create musical jingles to aid memory
 Speak to a tape and listen to yourself
  expressing ideas
Tactile/kinaesthetic learners
 Take frequent study breaks
 Move around to learn new things (e.g.
  read while on exercise bike; model clay
  to learn a new concept)
 Stand up to work
 Use bright colours and turn reading
  material into posters/models
 Skim read before reading in detail
Finally…
 Remember that we’re all different – you
  don’t have to fit one mould
 If you’re not learning well, or bored by
  learning, try out new strategies that suit
  you better
 The more types of learning activity you
  engage in, the more you’re likely to
  cover your preferred styles