People take in and process information in different ways. A learning style is the method a person uses to learn. By knowing a student's learning style, a teacher can use teaching methods that maximize student learning. Students can use recognition of their individual learning styles to find what study methods, environment, and activities help them learn best.

Types

Students working together
Students working together

There are many different learning styles. They can be determined by looking at how a student's personality influences the way they receive and process information, how they interact with classmates and the type of learning environment and methods they prefer.

Visual Learning Style

Visual learners like silent reading.
Visual learners like silent reading.

The visual or spatial learning style is preferred by students who like to use pictures, maps, colors and images to organize and communicate information to others. Students who use the visual learning style usually have a good sense of direction and enjoy drawing and doodling. They learn best using flash cards, written instructions, graphics, computer assisted learning, sight words and silent reading.

Auditory Learning Style

Teacher reading a story
Teacher reading a story

Auditory learners prefer to listen, take notes, discuss, memorize and debate. Students who use the auditory learning style can recall what they hear, follow oral direction and speak effectively. They repeat words out loud to memorize and like to hear stories. They learn best in learning groups, discussions and listening to tapes or CDs.

Tactile Learning Style

Little girl with painting
Little girl with painting

The tactile learning style is often grouped with the kinesthetic learning style, but it is more moderate. Students who use the tactile learning style learn by touching and moving objects. Also called hands-on learning, tactile learning involves learning by doing. Tactile learners like to write directions and practice following them. They learn best from demonstrations, drawing, writing, tracing and building models.

Kinesthetic Learning Style

Little girl playing hopscotch
Little girl playing hopscotch

Students who use the kinesthetic learning style like to use their whole body to learn. They express themselves through movement. They use large hand gestures when talking and use body language to communicate. They need to actively explore the physical world around them. Kinesthetic learners use their bodies and sense of touch to learn. They have a good sense of balance and good eye-hand coordination. They learn by getting their hands on objects, taking them apart, and putting them together. They enjoy making models, working jigsaw puzzles, dancing and sports.