If you think there is only one way to learn, think again. There are eight main learning styles, grouping together common ways in which people learn. We all have preferences for learning styles and techniques, just as we take in and process information differently. Learning styles not only guide the way we learn, they are key in how we internally represent experiences, for information recall and even in how we express ourselves.
We all have a combination of learning styles, and no single style or mix of styles is right or wrong. Some people may find one style dominant and use it far more frequently than others. It is also true that people may use different styles in different situations. Learning styles are fluid and can be developed over time.
When instructing and teaching others, the most important thing to remember is that there ARE different learning styles and that being flexible and accepting of these will bring the greatest results. The aim of the game here is to focus on your apprentice’s or trainee’s assets and strengths.
Taking your apprentice’s or trainee’s preferred learning style into account, the use of different teaching methods for different tasks is often a good way to go. Below is a summary of each of the main eight learning styles. You may recognise some of these preferences in your own apprentices and can use this to your and your apprentices’ advantage.
Visual/Spatial: a preference to learn using spatial understanding, pictures and images. Learns best with visual aids.
Naturalist: a preference to learn via experiencing, observing and working with the natural environment.
Aural/Musical: a preference for sound and music. Music and rhythm aid the learning process.
Verbal/Linguistic: a preference for learning through words and linguistic skills, both in written and speech form.
Physical/Kinesthetic: a preference for sense of touch, using hands and body. Learns best by physically doing something.
Logical/Mathematical: a preference for systems, logic and reasoning. Likes to classify or categorise things.
Social/Interpersonal: a preference to work/learn with others or in a group setting. Learns best by relating to others.
Solitary/Intrapersonal: a preference for work or study to be carried out alone. Solves problems internally.
Though some styles may be best suited to certain tasks or roles, all styles overlap one another meaning any student can take on any occupation. Identifying and accommodating your apprentice’s preferred learning style and giving them the space to work in the way that best supports improvement in their knowledge and skills base, will provide the best learning experience for your apprentice or trainee and is a valuable practice for your business.
To find out more about how Smart Employment Solutions can support you in providing the best learning experience for your apprentice or trainee, call us today on 13 30 24.