learning styles

Learning styles and why they are important in the educational process


20 May, 2021

Learning styles influence the way we process information, the way we adapt it to our environment. What we learn is important, but how we do it, is crucial.


Learning styles influence the way we process information and the way we adapt it to our environment and improve our lives. 
It's not just what we learn that's important, but how we do it. There are different ways of learning, and if we are aware of this, we can enjoy an effective learning process.

Different learning styles determine how humans assimilate knowledge

As parents, we want to see our children learning with love. Each child integrates different ways of learning in their style. Some prefer to learn by listening, some by visual activity, and others by reading, practicing or asking questions. Adapting teaching methods to these ways of learning dramatically influences the way pupils assimilate knowledge and, more importantly, how enthusiastically they learn.

There are currently seven learning styles: visual, auditory, verbal, physical, logical, social, and solitary. Regardless of which styles students resonate with, they all have in common that they learn best when they can integrate things they are passionate about into their learning, such as music, fashion, drawing, and more.

"The things we enjoy learning we never forget." - Alfred Mercier

When teachers focus their attention on the different ways in which children learn, they step outside the dichotomies that color the world black and white. The question is not whether teaching should contain demonstrated foundations or encourage analytical and creative thinking, but how the two ways should be blended into an effective learning process that accommodates each student's different learning style.

Memorization is not synonymous with comprehension. How we stimulate comprehension-based learning

It has been shown that learners retain information and skills more easily when they understand how they can use them to solve concrete problems. When learners are supported to understand why and how the information they need to learn is relevant to them, retention increases. To create an environment conducive to learning, we need to focus on what is being taught - information, subject matter - and why it is being taught - understanding.

Understanding-based learning is more difficult to achieve than simple memorization, and the structure and content of traditional lessons and tests encourage memorization. An understanding-based learning environment ensures depth of learning and assesses whether the learner has understood the information, not the volume of memorized data. This environment incorporates meta-cognitive teaching strategies that facilitate future learning approaches.

The responsibility for educating children does not lie entirely with teachers or parents. It should be the result of collaboration between these two essential pillars. But more than that, children do not learn only from their families and teachers. Community-based learning proposes connections with the world around us to give pupils a broader and more nuanced perspective.

The power of community facilitates learning and innovation

Research conducted by Human Synergetics in over 100 organizations revealed that interactions between employees in Romania are predominantly based on supremacy and competition. Behind this is the way we have been encouraged to learn since pre-school: on our own, always in competition with others, aiming not to develop our minds but to score the highest mark.

Teachers can organize learning communities where competition is replaced by camaraderie and collaborative study. In such a group, students can draw on each other's knowledge and work together to carry out projects. Teamwork and debate enhance cognitive development.

Not only children can benefit from learning in a community. These principles apply equally to adults. Teachers are encouraged to organize themselves in such groups which brings a sense of excitement to the learning process which then transfers into the classroom, facilitating innovation and creativity. The principles are equally relevant when we consider other groups, such as parents and other community members, whose learning is also necessary for educational transformation.

The values and beliefs that children come to school with are a driver for enabling learning

Learning is not an independent process. It depends entirely on the context in which it takes place.

Teachers should pay attention to the attitudes, knowledge, and inclinations that children bring to the classroom. Moreover, they can create learning contexts that reveal how pupils think. The angle from which they see the world is the best starting point for a formal understanding of a subject.

Early in school, teachers have the chance to identify the value matrix and possible thinking patterns of young learners. These are clues to their preferences and talents, which can then be used to tailor lesson content and pace of learning. Cultural differences can also influence learning. The readiness and ease with which a child learns about certain subjects or collaborates with peers vary according to their background.

Knowing different ways of learning helps us to assimilate information more easily and retain it for longer. The things we learn complement us, become part of our being, and help us to build bridges with our peers, in a word to evolve collaboratively as a species. 

"The moment we stop learning, we start dying." - Albert Einstein

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