Learning styles

Although in reality it’s probably a bit more complex, learning style is thought to be connected to dominant brain hemisphere and dominant mode of processing information (auditory, visual or tactile). According to teacher and writer Carla Hannaford, we all tend to use both hemispheres, either alternately or simultaneously, but one of them is usually the dominant one; this is the hemisphere one a) falls back on during stress and b) tends to slip into as soon as one doesn’t have to use both. Knowing one’s dominant mode and learning style can be quite useful.

“Once I realized that my one son was best at auditory processing, especially if not having to look at the teacher, and could do something with his hands (helping the kinesthestic learning I realized he was also) I was able to better advocate for him so the teachers would not get upset with and think he was trying to cause trouble.  I also took his study notes, in one subject, and had him record the notes and listen to them while doing other things. When testing came he scored above advanced in that area.”

– Ruth, Aspie from USA

Right-brained visual learners often need the whole picture first and many images and diagrams etc. Some learn best from a combination of auditory, visual and tactile multimedia input. TV and the internet is often helpful for this type.

“I found something out about myself, as I am older and going for another degree. I found out I am what is called a Visual Learner. More than just being able to learn better from visual or hands-on, I will recall the page of my notes, or the small sketch I made, or the doodling I did to illustrate a concept. I even will recall in what order something is on a page, in order to remember it. I cannot just memorize text, or remember something abstractly. I have to code things out, even if I totally understand a concept. I could explain that concept in my own words, but if I am taking a test, and have to recall large amounts of information, I have to have a visualization in my mind. I have to be creative with science to learn it.

– ‘Pinksilk’, adult visua-spatial learner

“i have to have pictures of things to understand them too. i cannot just hear what someone says and comprehend it. i have to create an image or draw it in me head or paper and then i can remember it. that is why i like to draw pictures and i like art. but i do not have to do that with numbers. they just automatically appear in me head and make sense for whatever reason.”

– Martka, adolescent HFA from Scotland

“I work best with a combination of verbal, visual, and writing styles.  What I miss in one area is usually compensated by the others.  I learn much quicker if there are graphs and pictures.  I think in pictures, not words.”

– Miriam B., adult with SID from USA

In the lecture posted below (around 21 minutes into the video) Dr Temple Grandin mentions the work of Dr. Eric Corshane who have found that there are three types of thinking in the human brain:

“Then there’s another type that’s not a visual thinker at all, and they’re the ones that memorize all of the sports statistics, all of the weather statistics. It’s kind of a language-logic mind.” – Temple Grandin in this interview.

LINKS

Visual-Spatial Learners Linda K. Silverman, Ph.D.

Rain men by Philip Beadle, The Guardian

Understanding your child’s learning style by Denise Mann

Learning styles info + Test

Learning styles test + info on Multiple Intelligences

Learning styles inventory, including graphical results

Learning styles info + test

Hemispheric dominance test (rather crude; not to be taken too seriously)

Left Right Brain Hemisphere Personality Test

Right Brain vs Left Brain (visual test)

Find more by searching “brain hemisphere test” or “learning styles test”

BOOKS

Learning Styles

So Each May Learn: Integrating Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences

Discover Your Child’s Learning Style: Children Learn in Unique Ways – Here’s the Key to Every Child’s Learning Success

The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles: A Fresh and Demystifying Approach

Differentiation Through Learning Styles and Memory

Talkers, Watchers, and Doers: Unlocking Your Child’s Unique Learning Style (School Savvy Kids)

The Dominance Factor: How Knowing Your Dominant Eye, Ear, Brain, Hand, & Foot Can Improve Your Learning

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