You might be unaware about this for now, but there is a thing among teachers or educators called multisensory teaching. How did this type of teaching come up? Turns out, there are actually 12 ways of learning. These techniques that numbered to a dozen are based on how different people are when it comes to learning things.
Educational therapist and learning specialist Dr. Erica Warren introduced the 12 ways of learning to educate teachers and improve their methods in the classroom setting. Like you, I’m also curious if what type of learner I am. Let’s check this list out!
These people are keen in observing things because that’s just how they learn easily. They prefer seeing pictures, graphs and tables to understand the content more. Some of them are even advanced in their observation skills, making them good in visualizations. The downside of these learners is getting bored easily when all they see in a book or an article are words.
Meanwhile, these learners prefer listening to other people to understand the subject more. Obviously, they are the ones who are more attentive in class. They are also more likely to join group studies rather than staying at home to study by themselves. When watching educational videos, since this medium also stimulates the sense of sight, auditory learners can excel even more. They also have the fewest population among groups of learners. Warren stated that using the auditory method of teaching is “the least popular” because students prefer visuals and other tools.
This group of learners like to use objects to understand something. Some of them also prefer drawing and taking notes to retain information in their minds. I, for one, kind of lean towards this type of learner. I can memorize things easily when I write them down. When I was still in school, I was always taking notes on used papers. I would not pay attention to how messy my penmanship gets. Finally, during study time, I would write my notes again on a notebook. In this case, I would be writing neatly to have enough time getting familiar with specific words. Whenever I’m writing in a slower pace, I unconsciously save information in my head. When I review my notes afterwards, most of the time, I already know almost everything about the lesson.
The disadvantage of these learners is getting bored easily when they stay seated in class and listen to the teacher. Kinesthetic learners need activities to stimulate their minds and finally absorb information. No wonder many educators or teachers started coming up with various educational games to keep the students competitive and energized. Most young learners fall in this category.
Some learners, as soon as their preferred tool is used, easily understand new information. But, others actually need extra method to completely get the subject. Sequential learners prefer to gain information in small doses or step-by-step process. We can’t avoid being sequential learners sometimes. Technical subjects or more difficult topics, when presented in series, are easier to understand. You don’t want to learn about computer codes in just one big pile of information.
These learners want information to be connected or related with one another to visualize “the big picture.” To stimulate the minds of simultaneous learners, a lesson must be taught in a way that the activities can discuss the topic even further. Simultaneous learning is imaginative and a harmonious exchange between educator and student. One lesson must be separated into specific parts, which are going to be thoroughly discussed one-by-one. The general idea turns into a summary.
These people like analyzation. They don’t stop in just simply understanding a subject. They usually go further to satisfy their minds. Reflective learners are adept in creating models or concepts. Science, math and literature enthusiasts dominate this group of learners.
Have you ever encountered a person who studies loudly? When I was in college, my roommate was always reading her study materials as if she was my teacher. She would read the materials in an enthusiastic way to keep herself awake from all the studying. When I asked her to try reading quietly, she said she hardly retains information. I’m sure that’s also a predicament of other verbal learners.
Some people actually find it hard to study all by themselves. That’s probably why the concept of group study started. Interactive learners need the company of other people to completely process information. They don’t necessarily need a lot of people to be with during study time. They just want the idea of exchanging thoughts and opinions regarding topics. I have a friend who likes to pretend as if he is in game show or quiz bee while studying. Every study session with him was a Q&A forum.
Indirect Experience Learners
Some learners can understand a subject more if they gain relevant examples or experiences. Many teachers share personal experiences and thoughts during lessons because they know that some students would appreciate that. Toning down a lesson doesn’t have to be slower. Teachers just have to be more relatable to students.
Direct Experience Learners
Field trips, science class demos, field research – these are just some of the ways how direct experience learners understand topic discussions. Sometimes, direct experience learning is reinforced by educators through organized trips outside the classroom. Why? Honestly, this is one of the most useful ways to develop open-minded students. When students see the real thing, they learn something in a much deeper level.
Some people memorize things before examinations by making acronyms or even songs. These learners also like listening to music while studying. Their minds are active when they hear rhythms or visualize patterns. Music students are included in this category.
Teaching methods evolve because of research. Students are analyzed to come up with more effective ways of teaching. One of the many important results of countless teaching and learning researches is this idea of 12 different kinds of learners. Some students can be included in many categories, and that’s brilliant. But, others really fall on one specific category. That’s why they need extra effort from teachers through more creative teaching methods.