Updated: Mar 27
Everyone is unique, and that certainly applies when it comes to learning style. Understanding and utilising learning styles is a great way of bringing out the potential in your child, so in this post we will be exploring the main variants and how to use them during study.
VARK encompasses the four main bodies of learning - Visual, Auditory, Read/Write and Kinesthetic. Your child may be only one kind of learner, or (more likely) they may benefit from Multi-modal learning which uses two or more learning strategies. Statistically visual and auditory learners make up a majority of the population, but using all four kinds can be beneficial depending on the circumstance.
When we use multiple learning styles we engage the different lobes within our brains, enhancing long-term memory. When we need to memorise a passage from a book, listening to the audio on top of reading and colour-coding the extract can help you recall it during an exam. In lab sessions we have children do the experiments themselves instead of just reading about it or watching a video because it engages all of their senses, and therefore their memories.
Exercises done in teams like presentations and debates can be helpful because some people are social learners.
Wehrwein, Lujan and DiCarlo, (2007) found evidence of sex-based differences in Uni versus Multi-modal learning in undergraduates with 54.2% of females preferring Uni-modal learning whilst 58.3% of males preferred Quad-modal learning (Multi-modal learning that encompasses all four VARK styles).
So how can this be done effectively at home? Here is a list of ways you can utilise learning methods and narrow down what kind of learner your child is:
Using these methods, many of which can be done within the home and at no extra cost, can help your child become a better learner for the present and their future education, develop better study habits and become passionate about education. We want learning to be easy and fun, so why not sit down with your kids and create a funny jingle about osmosis or identify insects in the garden?
Wehrwein, E., Lujan, H. and DiCarlo, S., 2007. Gender differences in learning style preferences among undergraduate physiology students. Advances in Physiology Education, 31(2), pp.153-157.