What Type of Learner Are You?

Have you ever thought about how you learn best? Bring to mind something that you do well, whether it is math, cooking, driving or interacting with people. How did you build that skill? You may have watched someone perform the skill you wanted to develop, or maybe you watched videos or read books. These are learning styles. Understanding learning methods and theories can help us to support our children better as they learn, and to have clarity around how we interact with the world around us so we can engage in our own professional growth and development. When it comes to learning, there is no single approach that works for everyone since every brain is unique. The concept of a “learning style” is based on the idea that individuals have varying preferred methods of learning or acquiring knowledge. We also know that our learning styles are influenced by what we are learning and the environment in which we learn. 

Although there are various models for classifying learning styles, one of the most popular is the VARK model created by Neil Fleming to help learners understand their specific learning preferences.  According to a VARK study, “scores from more than 400 students suggested that most of the students used multiple learning styles (e.g., visual + kinesthetic or reading/writing + visual + auditory), but that no particular style (or combination of styles) resulted in better outcomes than another” (May, 2018). So, what exactly is VARK? VARK is a short questionnaire that helps determine how a learner prefers to take in, process and give out information.

According to the VARK model, learners are identified based on whether they prefer:

  • Visual learning (charts, maps, diagrams)

  • Auditory learning (speaking and talking things through, group discussion, lectures)

  • Reading and writing (text-based input and output, reading and writing in all forms)

  • Kinesthetic learning (demonstrations, simulations)

Do you need to use maps, charts or diagrams to remember information? Or do you find it easier to recall information by listening to lectures or engaging in group discussions? Perhaps you learn best by reading and writing. Regardless of your responses to these questions, you are aware that there is no one-size-fits-all learning style and methodology. Knowing what style works best for you might help you optimize your learning experience. Take a look at the VARK model and see what you think. 

The VARK Questionnaire may be found at https://vark-learn.com/the-vark-questionnaire/

A guide to learning styles. VARK. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2023, from https://vark-learn.com/

May, C. (2018, May 29). The problem with “Learning styles”. Scientific American. Retrieved April 25, 2023, from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-problem-with-learning-styles/