Jul 01

Get to Know the Different Learning Styles (and Why They Matter)

Even though you think you’ve graduated college, learning doesn’t stop in the four walls of the classroom.

In fact, you constantly use your brain to learn new things all the time, whether you’re new at a job and still trying to be familiar with how everything works, picking up a skill or hobby for the first time, or re-learning something you dropped along the way because of time constraints.

How Learning Happens

Though the very process itself is complicated, learning essentially happens by memory. When you do or experience something for the first time, different neurons in different sections of the brain light up. The more you do or experience that thing, the more those same neurons light up.  

The Different Learning Styles

Everyone has a different way of learning, and knowing these different learning styles will help you round out your experience and approach anything much better and more easily.

These are some of the ways people both process information and pick up skills:

  • Visual – Visual learners prefer to use images, pictures, and color-coding, hence the need for these types of cues.
  • Auditory – These people learn best by their hearing, and can be split into aural (rhythms, music, mnemonics, etc.) and verbal (word-based techniques, i.e. scripting, speech, and reading aloud).
  • Kinesthetic – Kinesthetic or physical learners learn by doing, and are more likely to use muscle memory to their advantage.

Keep in mind that no one person uses one learning style exclusively – there are people who take to varying levels of the three, but may use one method as a “default” way to learn – and that there are certain skills that lend themselves more to not just one type of learning.

What’s Your Learning Style?

You can try figuring out your style based on whether you identify with the categories mentioned above. For instance, if you find that you like to use visual aids and color-coding a lot, you might find yourself to be a visual learner. The same can be said for the other two categories.

However, while there’s a good chance that you would use one learning method predominantly, you can also lend yourself to other methods in varying degrees.

Learning how you learn is the first step to figuring out the best way you take in new information, and a mix of styles that you like a lot and the ones you like less can actually help you get through your learning experience better.

The best way you learn is when you’re unfamiliar and haven’t settled in a familiar way of doing things. When you’re constantly adapting, you’re constantly taking in everything and learning, and your brain is constantly making new memories for you to draw from.

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