By Tayiba Ahmed
Although there is a lot of debate regarding the accuracy of learning styles, there are many out there who still accept them and find them relatable. The different learning styles can be helpful to students, who can identify with the styles, in their learning process. According to Howard Gardener’s original theory of multiple intelligence, these are at least seven different learning styles:
Typically good with abilities such as reading, writing and telling stories, these learners prefer the use of words to learn and memorize. These learners usually learn best by using the different linguistic skills; for example, by reading aloud to themselves.
This is a style where learners prefer using visuals aids such as images, colors and diagrams to memorize and learn. An example of a learner using this style is when they draw out diagrams or make flow charts to memorize something.
In this learning style, learners prefer using their bodies to assist them in their learning process. They prefer to learn something by doing it rather than reading about it. Using experiments in the learning process is an example of this style of learning.
According to Gardener, this is a style in which individuals are sensitive to sound, music and rhythm can identify with. These learners make use of sounds in their learning process. This could mean a musician learning by listening to certain beats, or a person humming or listening to music while studying.
These are learners that prefer to study in groups and teams. They find discussing and sharing ideas with others a more useful way of learning, because it makes them feel like they can build on each other’s ideas.
Another learning style suggested by Gardener is one where a learner prefers self-studying. Gardener suggests that these individuals are more aware of their strengths and weakness, which allows them to study better alone.
Some individuals prefer using logic, and reasoning to learn. Their aim is usually to understand the reasoning behind what they’re learning, and they tend to create patterns or relationships between things in order to memorize. An example of such a style in use is when instead of directly memorizing a flow chart, an individual tries to understand why one step leads to another.
In reality, individuals obviously do not identify with just one style solely. Instead each individual might prefer one style over the other based on different factors, such as subject matter and time for example. Neither is one style better than the other. These styles just help individuals in understanding what might be a useful method for them when studying.
So, do you identify with any of these learning styles? And if you do, then do you consciously incorporate these styles into your learning method? Try them out and see if they can help you study better and perhaps help you improve your grades and your GPA.
Tayiba Ahmed is a student at American University of Sharjah.
Visit www.aus.edu for more information about American University of Sharjah